Nick Sloan was $68,021.35 in debt earlier this year when he decided he needed a change. Mr. Sloan, 26, is a captain in the Air Force, and was stationed in Colorado Springs. Looking at his financial life, he saw only a series of bad decisions.

So he made what he calls a ?radical? break: he volunteered to go to Iraq. In May he arrived for duty in Baghdad.

?I came to the realization that I was so far over my head, I had to do something drastic to increase my cash flow,? Captain Sloan said by telephone from the Green Zone, where he now receives extra pay and has minimal living expenses. ?Iraq did that.?