By Alan W. Dowd

United States of Generosity
Research conducted by Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute reveals that, per capita, Americans donate 3.5 times more to charity and charitable causes than do French, seven times more than do Germans, and 14 times more than do Italians.

U.S. households with wealth exceeding $1 million account for “about half of all charitable donations,” but low-income families are the most generous group in America, “giving away about 4.5 percent of their income on average.”

Brooks also reports that “religious people” are more likely to give their time and money than non-religious:

                                                              Religious           Non-Religious
Give money to any cause                       91 percent         66 percent
Volunteer for any cause                         67 percent         44 percent
Give money to nonreligious cause          71 percent         61 percent
Volunteer for a nonreligious cause         60 percent         39 percent

In Sickness and in Health—and in War
The Army has quietly lifted a long-standing policy restricting soldiers who are husband and wife from living and sleeping together when deployed in a warzone. The policy change apparently is in effect only in Iraq.

“It’s better for soldiers, which means overall it’s better for the Army,” Command Major Mark Thornton told the Associated Press, which reports that Army-wide, there are some 10,000 married couples.

So-called “Couples Rows” have sprung up at camps in Iraq since the restriction was lifted in 2006.

“It makes a lot of things easier,” Sgt. Marvin Frazier told the AP. “It really adds a lot of stress, being separated.”

As a contributing editor to The American Legion Magazine, Dowd writes columns and news briefs on national security, foreign affairs and U.S. politics each month for the magazine's "Rapid Fire" section.