Stan Spangle Sr.: Inaugural ball honors Medal of Honor recipients

Feb. 01, 2013 @ 02:07 AM

It’s official — “Taps” is now an official song, designated by Congress as the “National Song of Remembrance.” Taps has been used by our military forces since the Civil War, according to information posted on “ABOUT. COM: US Military.
Starting in 1953, one of the inauguration balls has been a nonpartisan ball held to honor America’s Medal of Honor recipients. Three new recipients are wearing the newly designed Medal of Honor for action in Afghanistan. One more “new” MoH will be awarded in February. That had to be a most highly impressive event. That’s the ball I would most like to attend, if I should go to D.C. for an inauguration. I’m anxious to see this new Medal of Honor, I’m sure it is “awesome.”
The White House has informed the House Budget Committee’s Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., that they will not have their proposed budget in by Feb. 4, the legal deadline. This delay means we will be forced to wonder what the administration’s plans are for the numerous Department of Defense and VA programs. This will be on top of the pending “new” fight on sequestration. If sequestration occurs, officials of The Retired Enlisted Association are sure that DoD will look at retirees, family members and survivors as the place to focus cuts. It doesn’t matter where you are in the chain, active duty, Guard and reserve, retirees, veterans, and survivors, sequestration threatens all of us, even the security of the entire nation. This is a fight we must all take part in (and win).
According to a new Pentagon report, active duty military suicides hit a record high of 349 in 2012, and some experts believe the number could go higher in 2013. That number, 349 is almost one every day. The number of active duty suicides is a higher number than the 295 Americans killed in Afghanistan last year, according to The Associated Press’ count. There are several studies and suicide research projects in process. We are asked to spread the word that if you or anybody you know is a veteran in crisis, call (800) -273-8255 to help get them assistance.
The following information is provided by The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA). The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs offer free tax help for taxpayers who qualify. VITA is a program that generally offers free tax help to people who make $51,000 or less and need assistance in preparing their own tax returns. TCE is a program that offers free tax help for all with priority assistance to people who are 60 and older, specializing in questions about pensions and retirement issues unique to seniors.
In addition to face-to-face tax preparation, the IRS offers a self-assistance service at many VITA and TCE locations. To find a VITA site near you call 1-800-906-9887. To find a TCE or AARP Tax-Aide site near you call 1-888-227-7669. Reminder, you will need to take with you several items of information.
Semper Fi.
Pray for the families of the fallen.

Stan Spangle Sr. is a 21-year veteran of the Marine Corps, serving in Korea and Vietnam. He’s a member of numerous veterans organizations. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.