I’ve been part of a military family ever since I was 14 years old. My older brother (now retired military) announced that he was following in his grandfather’s footsteps and joining the Navy when I was still in high school. My younger brother (career military) followed suit a few years later, making us officially a submariner family.
Of course, all of this was likely inevitable. I grew up not far from Camp Lejeune and Fort Bragg in North Carolina. And every Mother’s Day, on our annual jaunt to Capt Bill’s in Morehead City, N.C., we drove through the Marine Base (in the days before 9/11, when it was still open to the public) and watched the copters land and the troops do maneuvers. I’m used to convoys of tanks down Highway 17 and real Army jeeps at festivals and fairs. It was simply part of growing up.
I learned pretty quickly about the sacrifices our troops made for our country. No, not the obvious ones (putting themselves in harm’s way to protect our country) but the not-so-obvious ones, like leaving their families behind for stretches of times when they were on active duty. It’s a tough life and I have immense respect not only for our troops but for their families. I know it’s super hard for my brother’s kids when their dad goes out to sea. And I know it has been hard for him, too. He has missed Christmases and Easters – and even the birth of his daughter.
I feel pretty strongly that the wonderful men and women who serve along with him deserve more than a few breaks. That’s why I was thrilled to see that, in support of our troops, TurboTax has announced it is extending the free offering of TurboTax Military Edition for junior military personnel. Servicemen and women rank E-1 to E-5 can now file their taxes for FREE through the end of tax year 2012 (that means including extensions, so through October 15, 2013). Those who are E-6 to E-10 and officers can file for a reduced fee.
TurboTax Military Edition was created by active, reserve and retired military personnel and spouses. The program is meant to walk taxpayers through military-related tax situations including state of residence, uniform deductions and PCS. It also distinguishes between basic pay and combat pay.
If you’re not military but would like to show your support for our troops, TurboTax will, in partnership with Operation Homefront, match donations made by customers from this secure site. Operation Homefront is a 501(c )a(3) organization (yes, that means donations are tax-deductible!) which provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. For every dollar you donate to Operation Homefront during the Campaign Period, Intuit will match an equal amount up to a total of one million dollars ($1,000,000).
(Quick clarification: For the record, just as always, like any other company, TurboTax didn’t pay for any placement or mention on my site. I simply thought this made a great story and was a valuable offer for our military. I will always disclose when (if any) consideration is received for a mention on my site. And don’t fret: as a rule, those have always been limited to donations of prizes for you guys, my readers, for contests and giveaways.)
This article was written by Kelly Phillips Erb from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.