Commentary

May 30, 2014

Paying it forward

Airman 1st Class JOSEPH ANSELMO
56th Security Forces Squadron

With tax season upon us, I had a weird thought. Being in the Air Force is in many ways similar to the process of receiving a tax return. Now bear with me on this one, and I will try to break it down for you. I’m not saying the two directly correlate or are completely the same, but consider it for a moment.

Money is taken out of our paychecks all year. I’m not sure about you, but it’s extremely infuriating seeing how much is taken out of my check all at once. Then when tax season comes around, you start gathering W-2s and filing those tax returns with a tax consultant. You wait patiently for a few weeks, and eventually you receive a nice chunk of change, and your bank account is looking good.

Now compare this to the Air Force. You work your tail off all year round, volunteer and make huge personal sacrifices. Granted, we are required to do this due to the core value of “service before self,” but all of these sacrifices don’t go unwarranted. By making these sacrifices and paying it forward to the Air Force, you reap many benefits just as you do when you receive a tax return. The sacrifices we make every day such as losing time with our family, being gone for extended periods of time and working long hours are like the taxes you pay all year round. Sure it may seem difficult at the time, but it is completely worth it the end.

In return for our hard work and dedication, we receive many benefits both long- and short-term. Some of the short-term benefits include a steady paycheck, medical insurance, housing allowance, food allowance and 30 days of leave a year. If you’re looking long-term you also get great technical training, the Veteran’s Association loan, retirement, great educational opportunities and career guidance, and so much more. These benefits and opportunities are just a few major benefits the Air Force provides. All of this is just like that big check you get for your tax return every April. Just keep paying it forward and many great benefits and opportunities will continue to come your way.




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