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Veterans and their families may be eligible to file taxes absolutely free

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The Internal Revenue Service has announced that the nation's 2016 individual income tax filing season opens Jan. 19, 2016, with more than 150 million tax returns expected to be filed this year.

People will have several extra days to file their tax returns this year. Taxpayers have until Monday, Apr. 18 to file their 2015 tax returns and pay any tax due because of the Emancipation Day holiday in Washington, D.C., falling on Friday, April 15. The IRS expects more than 70 percent of taxpayers to again receive tax refunds this year. Last year, the IRS issued 109 million refunds, with an average refund of $2,797.

Shown below are several ways Veterans and their families have access to free tax preparation and electronic filing services to keep more of their hard earned money.

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Posted in Money

Department of Veterans Affairs Hospital Compare website

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The VA Hospital Compare web site. This site is for Veterans, family members and their caregivers to compare the performance of their VA hospitals to other VA hospitals. Using this tool, Veterans, family members, and caregivers can compare the hospital care provided to patients.

VA Social Media Directory

In the VA Social Media Directory, you'll find links to all VA organizations currently using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and blogs in order to get the right information to the right Veteran at the right time.

National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury (NRCTBI)

The mission of the National Resource Center for Traumatic Brain Injury (NRCTBI) is to provide relevant, practical information for professionals, persons with brain injury, and family members. We have more than two decades of experience investigating the special needs and problems of people with brain injury and their families.  With input from consumers and nationally recognized experts, we have developed a wide variety of assessment tools, intervention programs, and training programs. 

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Posted in PTSD / TBI

What is Veterans Day - US Vets Featured Video

Be sure to check out the History website, where we found this great video that gives the history of Veterans Day and its beginning as Armistice Day following the end of World War I and tells the significance of the moment of silence at the eleventh day, eleventh hour, eleventh month.

Election Could Have a Major Impact on DHS Agencies

A new analysis shows how Clinton and Trump might reshape the direction of Homeland Security.

The U.S. Relief Mission to Haiti Is Also a Signal to America's Neighbors, and Russia

The leader of U.S. Southern Command hopes helpful actions speak louder than Moscow's words.

Financial Stability Oversight Council 2015 Report

At a hearing before the House Financial Services Committee, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew presented the findings of the Financial Stability Oversight Council's (FSOC) annual report for 2015. The 2010 Dodd-Frank financial regulations law created the FSOC to investigate risks to financial markets. The 2015 report looked at the threat of computer hacking against financial institutions. In addition, Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) and other Republican members questioned Mr. Lew about the $1.7 billion cash payment made by the U.S. to Iran in January 2016. Other topics included Wells Fargo Banks opening unauthorized consumer accounts.

Should Sailors Be Able to Reprogram Their Ship?

The U.S. Navy's newest destroyer is automated to an unprecedented degree. Should the crew be allowed to harness it with code?

Why the U.S. Military Still Flies Cold War-Era Planes

The U-2 shows how old technologies die hard.

Cybersecurity and Encryption Technology

Admiral Michael Rogers and Undersecretary Marcell Lettre testified about cybersecurity threats to the country, including how groups like ISIL* used encrypted technologies to stay hidden while planing and carrying out attacks. Topics included attacks on critical infrastructure. Armed Services Committee Chair John McCain (R-AZ) talked about media reports that the Obama administration was considering elevating the Department of Defense's Cyber Command and separating it from the National Security Agency. He said he would block any such proposal and block the confirmation of any person nominated to fill either of the positions. Admiral Rogers, the director of both the NSA and Cyber Command in what is commonly referred to as a "dual hat" role, said that he did not think the two roles should be separated. *The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), or the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or DAISH/DAESH in Arabic), is a militant group that has called itself the Islamic State.

Feds Charge Three Kansas Men in Domestic Terror Plot

Prosecutors say the trio targeted an apartment complex housing immigrants and a mosque for a post-election attack.

How Geography Explains Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton

Because of its location, America can choose whether it wants to be a gatekeeper or a global policeman.

Potemkin Jets Unlikely To Fool U.S. Satellites

But Russia's inflatable decoys just might tie up scarce U.S. resources long enough to make a difference.

Mental Health Parity

Witnesses testified at a hearing reviewing federal laws guaranteeing parity of coverage for physical and mental health. Witnesses included behavioral health experts who discussed mental health care access and challenges with implementing federal mental health parity laws. At the conclusion of the hearing, Representative Joseph Kennedy (D-MA) spoke with reporters about his legislative proposal called the "Behavioral Health Coverage Transparency Act."

California: Call For Veterans Agency Fixes Is Reversed

By Associated Press

A federal court on Monday reversed its demand that the Veterans Affairs Department overhaul its mental health care system. A special 11-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit said that any such changes need to be ordered by Congress or the president.

Posted in Veterans News

The American Legion's higher education booklet

NEED A LIFT? Helps guide you through the higher education application and financing process. Although the focus of the guide is to help children of deceased and disabled veterans in their pursuit of higher education, it offers information that can benefit all students.

The American Legion, an organization of wartime veterans, wrote Need A Lift?, a college financial aid guide, to spare you frustration and save you time as you plan your "after-high-school" education.

While the focus of this guide is to help children of deceased and disabled veterans in their pursuit of higher education, all students can benefit from the information offered. The American Legion wants to help all students go as far as they can.

This guide is filled with scholarships, grants, fee waivers, student loans, and the organizations that offer them. We've also included information to help you select a school, apply for student financial aid using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), learn about loan forgiveness, understand tax credits, and much more!

Posted in Education

My Next Move for Veterans (Find a Job)

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My Next Move for Veterans is created for the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, by the National Center for O*NET Development. My Next Move for Veterans helps U.S. veterans find jobs by providing a usefuk set of tools and information to match tasks, skills, salary information and job listings that can ultimately result in veterans  hired in the civilian work force.

Posted in Employment

Levin And McCain: Don't Pay Pakistan Exorbitant Trucking Fees

By Josh Rogin

The United States should not pay upwards of $5,000 for each truck Pakistan lets through to Afghanistan to aid the war effort, both leaders of the Senate Armed Services Committee told The Cable today.

Posted in Veterans News

Army Soldier Records Branch Article

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How to Access or Request Your Official Military Personnel File Documents

Accessing or Requesting Your Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) Documents

There are two ways to obtain copies of specific document(s) or your entire OMPF:

  1. Accessing your OMPF electronically.
  2. Submitting a request to the appropriate Location of Military Personnel Records.

You may be able to access your OMPF electronically at no charge. Electronic access is an easy, fast, 24/7 way to view your OMPF, and it gives you the flexibility to print specific document(s) or download your entire OMPF.

Posted in US Army

Celebrating Veterans Service on July 4th - Thank You For Your Service

Thank You

America has a rich, unique history that allows us to celebrate many different things. Freedom is one thing we can celebrate on this Independence Day (4th of July).

While you celebrate with your family and friends, remember our Veterans - and celebrate them and the sacrifices they made for our Freedom.

To all our Veterans - Thank you for your service!

Posted in Veterans Videos

Video - The American Veteran Video - Social Media at VA

The American Veteran - Social Media at VA

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Posted in Veterans Videos

VA News Week of July 23

VA News episode 508
Airing the week of July 23rd

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Posted in Veterans Videos

VA News this week - October 8 2012

VA News 516

October 8, 2012

Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs

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Posted in Veterans Videos

VA Research helps paralyzed Veterans stand, walk

VA researchers at the Cleveland Advanced Platform Technology (APT) Center are using a hybrid of Functional Electrical Stimulation (FES) and conventional bracing to allow Veterans who are paralyzed from the chest down to stand and walk.

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Posted in Veterans Videos