Our mission in Iraq is changing, and that’s going to mean some changes for our warfighters. A piece of good news is; the change from Operation Iraqi Freedom to Operation New Dawn will not affect the combat entitlements, and other hazardous duty entitlements, that soldiers receive. With the transition, servicemembers will still be able to receive hardship duty pay, hostile fire and imminent danger pay, and all the other incidental expenses related to their deployment. Imminent danger or hostile fire pay is paid when servicemembers serve in a location that is designated as a combat zone or a direct support area. Some tax planning information they need to keep in mind: While they’re deployed, all pay for warrant officers and enlisted members is tax exempt. And, officers are exempt from taxes for up to an amount over $76-hundred dollars for every month they serve in an eligible area.
They don’t just make salad dressing; the people at Newman’s Own just handed out their annual awards honoring achievements in military innovation. But, we’re not talking about innovation on the battlefield. We’re talking about innovative ideas that will be used to improve the quality of life for our wounded warfighters. The company, started by actor Paul Newman and his buddy A.E. Hotchner back in 1982, has the motto: “Shameless exploitation in pursuit of the Common Good.” And, they’re apparently trying to live up to that with this initiative. They announced eight winners of the 2010 Newman’s Own Awards at the 11th annual Pentagon award ceremony. Each year, they award a total of $75,000. Out of the nearly 140 non-profits and volunteer groups that sent in entries this year, the top award of $15,000 was presented to Military to Medicine (also called M2M), by Inova Health System Foundation. They provide education and resources to the caregivers of war-wounded individuals, as well as military spouses and veterans themselves. The second largest award of $10-thousand dollars was presented to five different organizations, including: Carolina Canines for Veterans. That’s a non-profit that trains dogs rescued from shelters to assist wounded warriors. In a sense the program is the first of its kind; the dogs are actually trained by military prisoners.