Field Report #250, March 15, 2006

Deployment: It's A Family Affair
As seasoned military spouses will attest, the challenges of deployment start well before departure, and can continue even after a loved one's safe return. But with preparation, patience and an open mind, you can keep yourself and your family on solid ground before, during and after a deployment.

Army Must Change to Remain Relevant
The U.S. Army is the greatest it's ever been, but to remain effective for the future, it must make changes, a top Army commander said here yesterday.

Special Operations Transforming to Lead Global War on Terrorism
U.S. Special Operations Command is transforming to meet changing needs as it leads the fight in the global war on terrorism. The threat the United States faces today has no borders or boundaries, Army Gen. Bryan D. Brown, SOCOM's commander, told the audience at the 17th Annual National Defense Industrial Association Special Operations/Low-intensity Conflict Symposium and Exhibition.

Money doesn't grow on trees!
Young children may notice that their parents use a plastic card to make purchases and they go to a machine and money comes out, while older children want to spend, spend, spend.

Wounded warriors get 'second chance'
Among more than 900 Soldiers watching the Washington Capitals beat the St. Louis Blues, 5-4, Thursday night in an overtime shootout, was a wounded warrior who aspires to one day play competitive hockey again.

Free Tax Help for the Military

If you, or your spouse, are a member of the military, you may be eligible to receive free assistance with the preparation and filing of your federal tax return. The U.S. Armed Forces participate in the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program. The Armed Forces Tax Council oversees the operation of the military tax programs worldwide, and serves as the main conduit for outreach by the IRS to military personnel and their families. The AFTC consists of tax program coordinators for the Marine Corps, Air Force, Army, Navy and Coast Guard.

Military-based VITA sites provide free tax advice, tax preparation, return filing and other tax assistance to military members and their families. The volunteer assistors are trained to address military-specific tax issues, such as combat zone tax benefits.

Military commanders support the program by detailing members of the military to prepare returns and by providing space and equipment for tax centers. The IRS supports these efforts by providing tax software and training.

To receive this free assistance, you should bring the following records to your military VITA site:
  • Valid photo identification
  • Social Security cards for you, your spouse and dependents or a social security number verification letter issued by the Social Security Administration
  • Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents
  • Current yearís tax package, if you received one
  • Wage and earning statement(s) -Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R
  • Interest and dividend statements (Forms 1099)
  • A copy of last yearís federal and state tax returns, if available
  • Bank routing numbers and account numbers for direct deposit
  • Total amount paid for day care
  • Day care providerís identifying number
  • Other relevant information about income and expenses
If your filing status is Married Filing Jointly and you wish to file your tax return electronically, both you and your spouse should be present to sign the required forms. If it isnít possible for both to be present, a valid power of attorney that allows tax preparation can be used to sign and file the return. For more information, review IRS Publication 3, Armed Forcesí Tax Guide, available on the IRS Web site at or order a free copy by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

  • New Option for Retiring
  • Where's Osama bin Laden?
  • National Guard Role to be Reviewed
  • Iran warns U.S. will suffer `harm and pain' in nuclear enrichment dispute
  • Military Says Most Would-Be Recruits Unfit

  • Unsure About What Is Required To Join
  • High Priority MOS?
  • Question About MEPS Physical
  • Sniper Rifles
  • Iran warns US of "Pain"