OAK GROVE, Ky. — Go out Gate 5 at Fort Campbell and Jenna’s Adult Superstore is right across the street. On either side are easy ways to lose your shirt.

Turn left and there’s a casino. Turn right and there are miles of businesses catering to — or preying on — financially inexperienced soldiers with money in their pockets for the first time.

The wide boulevard along Fort Campbell’s front wall is lined with places to get into debt or worse. There are used car lots galore and Cash America Pawn. Then, Omni Military Loans, various check-cashers and a storefront that invites soldiers to sell their plasma. On it goes along the main thoroughfare named for the Army post — the center of an ecosystem that thrives on government paychecks and not knowing how to manage them.

For soldiers sometimes still in their teens, the dozens of financial services operators that surround Fort

Keep reading this article on The New York Times Your Money.

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