Commentary

December 7, 2012

Spouse’s volunteer experience at tax center time well-spent

Being a military spouse can be lonely at times, especially when the military member is deployed. I like to fill my time by volunteering. In the past, I’ve volunteered for many things, but I never thought I would find myself at the Luke Air Force Base Tax Center.

Our family had just moved to Luke and I was making plans to visit the Airman and Family Readiness Center to get information on volunteer opportunities on and off base. My husband came home one day with a message from his first sergeant saying the tax center was really short on volunteers. My first thought was, “taxes, really?” Anything to do with taxes is the one thing I would rather avoid, but there was a need, and I was up for the challenge. To my surprise, I enjoyed the experience.

As with every move, you leave behind your group of friends and look forward to establishing new friendships. Volunteering at the tax center provided me with the opportunity to combine two of my favorite activities, meeting new people and helping others.

The tax center offers two types of training, classroom and online. The training covers all levels of preparation, starting from a very basic return to more difficult returns. I was able to choose a certificate level within my comfort zone. When I was preparing a client’s return, I never felt overwhelmed because I knew one of the other volunteers would be willing to answer my questions.

At the tax center, we offered free tax preparation and filing to all active-duty members, retirees and dependents. It was an honor to help these people. I was able to connect with people from all over the country, hear stories from retirees, and exchange information with active-duty members and spouses about places we had been stationed. Many of these clients are very grateful for the services the tax center offers.

Last tax season, the center was able to operate three days a week. In order to help as many tax payers as possible this season, more volunteers are needed. Volunteers can give as few as four hours a week.

Active-duty members who volunteer receive an enlisted performance report bullet, and it is a fantastic opportunity for retirees and military spouses to network and meet new people while helping current and former service members.

For more information on training to become a volunteer tax preparer, call the 56th Fighter Wing legal office at (623) 856-6901.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

‘The butterfly effect’

Shortly after taking command, the Wild Duck Aircraft Maintenance Unit officer in charge requested I explain to his Airmen exactly what the pilots would be doing on training missions during an upcoming temporary duty. I was embarrassed that he had to ask. In this specific case, I had thoughtlessly kept these details from our closest...
 
 

Advise Airmen of rights before asking questions

Every day supervisors are faced with challenging scenarios and situations that require them to engage in efforts to help their Airmen. When this engagement is due to a negative act such as theft, damage to property or other possible legal violations, we must resist the instinct to question them directly. One scenario I am presented...
 
 

Dollars and Sense

Americans owe $1,200,000,000,000 in college debt (yes, that’s a trillion). According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, students hold an average of $29,400 in debt at graduation. That monthly debt repayment plan starts upon graduation and can easily top $1,000 a month. There are federal loan forgiveness programs (www.consumerfinance.gov) but the process can be complex...
 

 

Chaplain’s thoughts …

It was the Buddha who said, “A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes evil is to be respected as if he reveals a secret of hidden treasure.” The Jewish proverb says, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.” These...
 
 
20130803-190716

Fly Over: ‘Angry Crab’ and Macronutrients: A way of eating healthy

‘Angry Crab’ Every now and then I get a craving for real seafood. I’m not talking about the type of seafood served filleted, breaded and drenched in fancy French nouveau-style sauce. I’m talking about unadultera...
 
 

Innovative followership, leadership

Innovate, innovate, innovate. We hear this all the time in today’s leaner military. It’s a rather catchy word and sounds very impressive. However, innovation has to begin somewhere. Can followers innovate? Can leaders innovate? I submit the answer to both questions is a resounding “yes.” Unfortunately, one thing that keeps us from challenging the status...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin