Veterans’ Voice

Art Sloane

Tax time is approaching in just a few months and I, like many others, are not looking forward to it but there is a way to save and not give as much to the state but to worthy causes. If you are married you may already know you may give up to $400 or $200 if single to two different groups. The first are the schools and the second is to the working poor. Then you deduct this as a tax credit. An example is e.g. “Pay the state $1,000, deduct $400 or $200 to schools and $400 or $200 to the working poor.” Arizona StandDowns with eight StandDowns in the State to help homeless or in need veterans and pay the State $200 or $600. The StandDowns are listed under the working poor tax credit but is used for veterans only. The lead agency is The Coalition to End Homelessness. You may send your donation to the Coalition to End Homelessness and put StandDown in the memo area on your check or make monthly payments all year and take the total amount given at the end of the year. After the tax credit on your state taxes you use your donation as a tax donation on your federal taxes. If you want to help all homeless leave the memo area blank. Send checks to the Coalition at 141 E. Palm Lane, Suite 5, Phoenix, AZ 85004.

If you belong to any organization that is need of a speaker I am available by e-mail or my information listed at the end of this column.

The VA has recently updated the list of ships that operated in Vietnam to add 22 new ships. The list can help Vietnam-era veterans find out if they qualify for presumption of Agent Orange exposure when seeking disability compensation for certain related diseases. Many veterans struggle to obtain things like life insurance once they return from service, especially if they suffered a disabling injury for their service. However, by having a look at somewhere like whittedclearylaw.com, veterans can have a look at some benefits that they never even knew existed, including life insurance.

I finally have an answer to who is able to use their discount at Home Depot and Loew’s. The 10 percent discount is available to all veterans on major patriotic holidays including Veterans Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day. They also are two of only a few retailers that provides an everyday discount to active-duty, National Guard, Coast Guard and reservists, as well as retired (typically 20-plus years of service) and service-connected disabled service members and their spouses. They ask anyone requesting the everyday discount to present a valid military ID, including a Veterans Administration Identification Card that designates disability by including the term “Service Connected” on the I.D.

Two restaurants in the East Valley now give veterans discounts: Sir Veza’s Taco Garage at the Chandler Fashion Mall with branches in Tucson and the Whiskey Rose Saloon on Arizona Ave. in Chandler.

Recently Boots for Our Troops Foundation received a check from Cars for Vets for $10,000 to help veterans in danger of losing their housing or being unable to pay for electricity or water. This is why many veterans are trying to claim disability benefits using VA attorneys to help them fight their case. Many veterans are in danger of being evicted. The donation was gone in a week. The veterans of BFOT working to raise funds receive no reimbursement or wages. You may check them out on the web at BFOT.org. This charity is only in Arizona and I serve on the Board of Directors. If you want to give to this 501(c)(3) charity send a donation to BFOT, Box 4402, Huachuca City, Arizona 85616.

Art Sloane may be contacted at 480-802-6810 or [email protected]