Guest Author - Kate Woods
We should remember the contributions of all those who defended our country. The charity that our Veterans exhibit is not tax deductible but it is the greatest charitable contribution that one can give to their fellow man and their country. If in fact the saying that charity begins at home is a truism that we should all believe in and follow, then we must also believe in the fact that our veterans start out in their home in this country and give everything that they can give by performing their military duties to defend this country. Their charity does indeed begin at home and their contribution, while not considered a charitable deduction on Schedule A of their Form 1040, is a contribution that cannot have a monetary value attached to it.
I recently attended the funeral of my Motherís Brother, my Uncle George. A highly decorated World War II Veteran, Uncle George had been the recipient of several Purple Hearts as well as the Silver Star for his heroic service to our country. Having never been to a military funeral before I had no idea what to expect when the obituary listed the time for the service and that burial would be with full military honors.
As a child I had heard many stories of my Father and my Uncleís war time experiences, but they of course were watered down for a childís tender impressionable ears. When I and my Sister and my cousins became older we were given more details about how he earned his Silver Star and learned that Uncle George had been injured in a beach landing and even with his injury he still rescued another man who was injured and down and unable to get out of the water onto the beach. If thatís not a charitable contribution then what is? He was in fact willing to contribute his very life to save someone elseís life. Later in the war he was held captive by enemy forces and thought about how he might escape before he was finally released. Recently he was held captive by the ravages of old age and illness and talked about and attempted to escape from the care giving staff in the veteranís hospital. Always an adventurer he was true to himself till the end and has now finally made his last great escape.
My Uncle George is only one of the many, many charitable giving members of those who serve in our military in both times of war and times of blessed peace. While we canít do anything about giving them a charitable contribution deduction on their tax returns we certainly should give them our unending gratitude. The magnitude of their contribution was never more evident to me than it was when I was a participant in the last rites of respect shown by the full military honors given to a hero in thanks for his contributions. Iím sure the shots fired in salute and the piercing sound of taps filling the very air that was all around us could be heard by him as he enjoys having finally accomplished his great escape and his new found freedom at last.
So when you are searching for potential tax deductions and considering who to donate your charitable contributions to, please remember our Veterans and all that they have contributed to all of us.
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