Military Feed

We call it Veterans Day here in the United States. An Army veteran salutes the colors being carried in the Veterans Day parade in downtown Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Nov. 11, 2011. (Photo courtesy U.S. Army via Flickr) That Nov. 11 is such an important date is evidenced by the fact that federal holiday has escaped conversion into a Monday that wraps up a long weekend that's usually more focused on consumer spending than actual commemoration. End of the Great War: Each November we mark what originally was the official, formal end of World War I at the 11th hour of... Read more →


June is jam-packed with special days. It kicks off with the official start of the Atlantic/Gulf of Mexico hurricane season, which seems a bit late since we've already seen two storms form this year. Then there's Flag Day, Father's Day and the arrival, here in the Northern Hemisphere, of summer. And I'm not even counting things like today's National Doughnut Day and all the June weddings that will be special calendar dates for those happy couples. And yes, there are some tax connections to all those days. They are duly noted over in the ol' blog's right column, just under... Read more →


Happy National Doughnut Day! If you live near a military facility, consider dropping a box of the sweet fried treats off there for the enlisted men and women. Or take some to your local veterans' meeting hall. This isn't, a la some politicians who will remain nameless (but linked to!), a blog version of pandering to patriotism. Doughnuts actually are inextricably linked to our armed services. Last year, National Doughnut Day fell on June 6, D-Day. As I noted in my post then, Salvation Army officers who went to Europe during World War I to comfort U.S. troops did so... Read more →


Donald Trump, in a combative press conference today (May 31), announced the veterans' groups that received money collected in his Iowa debate alternative event last January. Click image to watch Trump campaign video via Twitter The 41 nonprofits and the amounts they received/will get are: 22Kill -- $200,000 Achilles International Inc. -- $200,000 American Hero Adventures -- $100,000 Americans for Equal Living -- $100,000 America's Vetdogs - The Veterans K9 Corps Inc. -- $75,000 AMVETS -- $75,000 Armed Services YMCA of the USA -- $75,000 Bob Woodruff Family Foundation Inc. -- $75,000 Central Iowa Shelter and Services -- $100,000 Connected... Read more →


More than 1 million men and women have died during U.S. military service. Memorial Day is when we take special time to remember them and their ultimate sacrifice. To ensure the ultimate hallowed duties of America's fallen heroes are never forgotten, The National Moment of Remembrance Act was enacted in December 2000. This law created the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. The Commission's charter is to "encourage the people of the United States to give something back to their country, which provides them so much freedom and opportunity" by encouraging and coordinating commemorations in the United... Read more →


Donald J. Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominees, skipped the Des Moines, Iowa, debate back in January. The Donald was feuding with Fox News, the debate's host, then and opted instead to hold his own event. Click image for full CNN report and video. Trump's alternate televised gathering at Drake University, also in Des Moines, was promoted as a fundraiser for veterans' charities. So how did that turn out? How much was donated? Which charities got some of the cash collected almost four months ago? The answers are, apparently, pretty good from a political posturing standpoint, not as much as... Read more →


So The Donald actually did it. He bailed on the final GOP debate before Iowa voters caucus on Feb. 1 to pick their favorite presidential candidates in both parties. Instead Donald Trump held an event at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, ostensibly to benefit veterans' charities. Veterans Day 2015 observance at Arlington National Cemetery. Veterans Affairs photo by Robert Turtil. OK. Props to Trump's people for pulling it all together so quickly. But it was done in a way that, unsurprisingly, kept the focus on Trump. Trump again grabs the spotlight: He set up a special website where his... Read more →


Members of the military receive some special tax considerations. One of them is some tax-free income while serving in a combat zone. A U.S. Army Special Forces soldier assigned to Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan provides security during an advising mission in Afghanistan, April 10, 2014. Afghanistan is a designated military combat zone. (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Sara Wakai) The Internal Revenue Service says that when service personnel serve in a combat zone as an enlisted person or as a warrant officer, including commissioned warrant officers, for any part of a month, all military pay received for service... Read more →


We're five days away from another possible government shutdown. Wait. Didn't the budget deal that former House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) pushed through before handing the gavel to new Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wisc.) take care of that? Sort of. Budget but no spending plan: The budget agreed to at the end of October established a framework for expenditures through October 2017. Congress, however, still must allocate the actual dollars for Uncle Sam's operations so he can operate past Dec. 11, the day that the latest continuing resolution expires. UPDATE: Congress passed another short-term continuing resolution to fund the federal... Read more →


The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This specific commemoration marked the armistice between World War I's Allied forces and Germany ending the fighting on the Western Front at precisely 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918. The poppy was adopted as the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in 1922. The date has held firm, withstanding the penchant here in the United States to shift holidays to Mondays to create three-day weekends. But its focus was expanded in 1954. That year Congress, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Armistice Day became Veterans... Read more →


Paying tribute to our troops is not cheap. Recent on-field displays of patriotism at sporting events cost taxpayers almost $7 million dollars, according to a report released last week by two U.S. senators. But the U.S. Treasury will get some of that money back. In the wake of the report "Tackling Paid Patriotism," initiated by Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake and released Nov. 4, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has promised that the National Football League would pay back costs for activities beyond recruitment or advertising. More leagues, money involved: McCain and Flake, Arizona's Republican senators, started looking into the... Read more →


Looking for something to do this weekend? The Internal Revenue Service has some suggestions. If you pay estimated taxes or are a civilian or military taxpayer living outside the United States, you should spend the coming Saturday and Sunday working on your taxes since they're due Monday, June 15. Yeah, I know. It's not really the start of summer celebration you were hoping for. But it's one that must be heeded or you'll find yourself owing Uncle Sam more. Here's the calendar scoop. Estimated taxes If you get income that's not subject to payroll withholding, you need to make these... Read more →


Military casualties are the high price of freedom. Memorial Day commemorates those who paid this ultimate price. American Soldiers, American Wars by Beverly and Pack via Flickr Over the years more than 42 million American men and women have served their country in armed conflicts. More than a million died doing so. The Memorial Day Foundation, using Department of Defense statistics, has tallied the terrible cost of war since our country's first Revolutionary War battle to the latest troops lost in Operation New Dawn in Iraq. There are many ways to show respect for the men and women who died... Read more →


You know those heart-tugging salutes to the troops you've seen at various sporting events over the years? The teams didn't feature those moments because of unbridled patriotism and a simple desire to recognize and thank military personnel for their sacrifices. The Department of Defense paid for those touching moments. NFL military salutes have prompted official inquiries, but the promotions also have occurred at Major League Baseball Games. These members of the Georgia National Guard participated in a tribute to troops in July 2012 at an Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field. (Photo courtesy Georgia National Guard via Flickr Creative Commons)... Read more →


Getting a job sometimes is the hardest job of all. And military veterans face particular challenges as they transition from the Armed Forces to civilian life. Image courtesy Monster's November 2014 Veterans Talent Index A recent survey by Monster Worldwide, parent company of employment website Monster.com and armed forces focused Military.com, found that the biggest obstacle veterans face is communicating how their military skills translate to non-base positions. It is often difficult, said two-thirds of the poll respondents, for them to explain to prospective employers how their military skills can be used by civilian companies. Veterans unemployment falling: But things... Read more →


Are you frantically trying to finish your 1040 by the Oct. 15 extended filing deadline? Yes, it is just a week away, so you need to get to work. But don't be in such a hurry that you miss out on some tax breaks. There are lots of ways to reduce your tax bill, as this week's Weekly Tax Tip highlights. Some of the 10 often overlooked tax breaks are for itemizers only. Others can be claimed by any filer. Philanthropic filers should double-check their contribution records. You don't want to miss out on Schedule A deductions for noncash charitable... Read more →


The raw numbers are bad enough. Approximately 83,000 Department of Defense (DOD) employees and contractors had unpaid federal tax debt totaling more than $730 million as of June 30, 2012, according to a just-released General Accountability Office report. Southwest view of the Pentagon with the Potomac River and Washington Monument in background. Department of Defense photo by Master Sgt. Ken Hammond, U.S. Air Force, via Wikimedia. IRS data shows that the tax debt of all individuals and businesses as of Sept. 30, 2013, was about $374 billion. But the news gets worse. In "Security Clearances: Tax Debts Owed by DOD... Read more →


July 1 not only marks the middle of the year. It's the start of a new fiscal year for most state governments and that means new laws typically take effect. Here are some of the new tax statutes now on state books. Indiana has changed how it calculates tax on gasoline. Instead of the previous fixed 19-cent-per-gallon sales tax, the tax rate will be modified month-to-month. Specifically, the Hoosier State's gas usage tax rate now will be 7 percent of the average price of gas the previous month. That means, says the Indiana Department of Revenue, that the state's July... Read more →


Happy Flag Day! The 14th of June this year wraps up National Flag Week, which per presidential proclamation began on June 8. Flag Day was born on June 14, 1777, when the Continental Congress adopted the stars and stripes design for the U.S. flag. The first national observance of Flag Day, however, didn't occur until June 14, 1877, the centennial of the adoption of our Star-Spangled Banner. President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and President Calvin Coolidge in 1927 issued proclamations asking for June 14 to be observed as National Flag Day. W. Edwardes Baxter sent First Lady Lou Henry Hoover... Read more →


Happy National Doughnut Day! I know, my first reaction upon learning of today's seemingly light-hearted gustatory event was dismay that it unfortunately fell this year on the very solemn commemoration of D-Day, the landing 70 years ago of more than 160,000 Allied troops to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. This largest seaborne invasion in history on June 6, 1944, was the beginning of the invasion of German-occupied western Europe. It led to the freeing of France from Nazi occupation and was a key to the Allied victory in World War II. But then I learned that... Read more →