Veterans’ Voice – November 2014

Art Sloane

The Arizona State Legislature needs to get involved in helping veterans in need by changing the law concerning tax credits in the Military Family Relief Fund, which it established in 2008. Since that date almost seven million dollars have been contributed to help veterans of the last two conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those needing donations from this tax credit fund must prove that they either deployed from Arizona or were an Arizona citizen at time of deployment. In addition they must prove that the hardship they have encountered was a direct cause of the deployment. Since setting up this fund less than two million has been distributed to veterans and their families. What is a tax credit? You are able to take the amount you owe Arizona taxes off your state tax return. An example is that if you owe $600 to the state you are able to subtract $200 if you are single or $400 if you are filing jointly. You then may declare this as a deduction for charity on your federal tax return. We have many veterans out there that are in dire need since jobs are not as plentiful as we are led to believe, but their problems are not tied to the deployment, so no money or they may have served before 9/11/01. Desert Storm veterans served in the same area but because it was before 9/11 they may not be helped.

In 2018 all monies in this account will then go to the Arizona Department of Veteran Services; I hope to be used to help the many veterans still in need. This is the reason your State Legislature must help now.

For veterans in need and homeless, I suggest they attend one of the eight StandDowns in the state, which are also a tax credit organization. Go to ArizonaStandDown.org/donate.

Free tickets to sporting events, plays and more are available for veterans, active duty and retired military, provided by vettix.org. All you need is a DD 214. You pay only the postage to have tickets sent to you.

The Commemorative Air Forces Airbase Arizona Aviation Museum located at Falcon Field, 2017 N. Greenfield Rd in Mesa is conducting its seventh annual Gathering of Legends at 7:00 p.m. November 10. This gathering will be aviation veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam representing noted groups such as Tuskeegee Airmen, Women’s Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) WWII Fighter Aces, former RAF Cadets who trained at Falcon Field in WWII, bomber crews, Forward Air Controllers and others will be on hand to share their experiences. A reception followed by dinner at 5:15 p.m. November 10 will have Col. Crandall, who received the Medal of Honor, give the keynote address at the dinner. He received the Medal for actions in Vietnam, and his part was played by actor Greg Kinnear in the 2002 movie We Were Soldiers. Reservations at $50 per person may be made starting October 1 at 520-245-5095 or 480-268-2144 or email at airbaseleader@azcaf.org.

The East Valley Marines located in Sun Lakes will hold their Marine Corps 239th Anniversary Ball at 5:30 p.m. November 15 at the Oakwood Country Club in Sun Lakes. The cost is $50 per person. For ticket information call 480-926-3867. Reservations to East Valley Marines, Jim Hawkins, 1210 N. Sailors Way, Gilbert, AZ 85234.

Art Sloane may be contacted at 480-802-6810 or artgbeard@aol.com.