Daniel Crowley often repeats two words as he recounts his experience as a prisoner of war being shipped from the Philippines to Japan in 1944: nightmare and lucky. “The hellships were nightmarish,” said the 96-year-old. As the Allies prepared to retake the Philippines after more than three years of Japanese occupation, POWs were marched to ports to be shipped to the Japanese mainland. Hundreds of men would be crammed together in the deepest bowels of the ships in sweltering heat and little or no ventilation. “They would prod you in the ass with their bayonets and force you down into the deepest ‘dragoons’ until they packed human beings so tightly that you couldn’t turn around, sit down, lie down,” Crowley said. “You just sat in the [feces]. It’s beyond your worst nightmare.” The guards’ “idea of a humane gesture,” he said, was to let a few men each day carry buckets of feces and urine to the top deck and dump it over the side of the Taikoku Maru. “And throw dead bodies over the side,” he said. “They definitely allowed that every day.” “But actually, I was lucky,” Crowley said, noting that the ship made it to Japan intact in a relatively fast 17 days. Other hellships took many more weeks and were frequently targets of Allied submarines and carrier aircraft because they were not marked as carrying POWs. Read the full article from Stars and Stripes by clicking here
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is pleased to announce 172 student veterans have been chosen as 2018 fall semester recipients of the VFW’s “Sport Clips Help A Hero Scholarship.” Together, these student veterans will receive nearly $790,000 in college scholarships.   For more than a decade, the VFW’s long-standing relationship with Sport Clips Haircuts has focused on assisting service members, veterans and their families. In 2014, the focus expanded to establish the Help A Hero Scholarship program. With the continued rising costs of education, military education benefits often run out or fall short of covering the full costs of a college education which leaves many student veterans without a degree. The Help A Hero Scholarship provides student veterans with the chance to achieve their education goals without incurring excessive student loan debt. To date, the Help A Hero program has awarded nearly $5 million in college tuition assistance and has provided scholarships to more than 1,100 service members and veterans. “Through the generosity of the VFW, Sport Clips, and the many individual donors and supporters, the aspirations and potential of veterans are able to be realized,” said scholarship recipient Andrew Mueller, an Army veteran attending Iowa State University. “Thank you for believing in veterans like myself and in your continued support of servicemen and servicewomen all over our nation. It is because of you that thousands of veterans are able to make continued education a reality.” View a full list of the 2018 fall scholarship recipients here. Help A Hero scholarships are awarded exclusively to service members and veterans twice a year and help cover the cost of tuition and fees. Scholarship applications are currently being accepted for the 2019 spring semester.
The multimedia exhibit “The Greatest Legislation: An American Legion Centennial Salute to the GI Bill” will be the main attraction in the Media & Communications Exhibit Hall booth area at the 100th American Legion National Convention later this month. The exhibit, which has been traveling the nation, tells the story of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, the dramatic fight for its passage, how it transformed the world, and the changes it has undergone in the 21st century. It includes artifacts and video kiosks. Read about the journey of the exhibit, and the conversations it’s started, here. Media & Communications Division staff will be on hand to answer visitors’ questions about the Legion’s Centennial Celebration, the new national Legacy & Vision Web platform and more. Also available will be information on the National American Legion Press Association (NALPA) and the opportunity to join. The booth area stretches from #211 to #219. On Saturday, Aug. 25, acclaimed artist Matt Hall will hold two signings at the booth, of lithographic prints of the “Legacy & Vision” painting he produced for the Legion’s 100th anniversary. The lithographs can be purchased through the Emblem Sales booth area for $29.95. The Exhibit Hall will be open Friday, Aug. 24, through Tuesday, Aug. 28, in Hall C, Level 1 of the Minneapolis Convention Center.
WASHINGTON — When North Korea turned over 55 boxes of remains believed to be American servicemembers last month, the McDaniel family wondered if their late father could be among them. On Aug. 2, a phone call to the Indianapolis home of retired Army Chaplain (Col.) Charles McDaniel Jr. answered that question. “We found one dog tag, it’s your father’s,” an Army official told McDaniel Jr., 71. “I sat there and cried for a while. It took a while to compose myself.” Army Master Sgt. Charles Horbert McDaniel, a medic who also fought in World War II, went missing in the Korean War nearly 70 years ago and hardly got to know his two sons. McDaniel Jr. went on to serve a long career in the military, while his younger brother Larry McDaniel, 70, gravitated towards a career in athletics. Click here for full story
In response to an Internet report that friends of President Trump were shaping VA policies during meetings at Mar-a-Lago, National Commander Denise Rohan offered the expertise of The American Legion as a resource for information. The media website ProPublica reported that an entertainment executive, lawyer and doctor “spoke with VA officials daily” and reviewed “all manner of policy and personnel decisions” regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs. None of the three individuals cited had ever served in the U.S. military. “We are not about to tell President Trump who he can or cannot take advice from, but we hope that he carefully considers the qualifications and motivations of those offering that advice when it comes to the treatment and wellbeing of America’s veterans,” said Rohan. “As the nation’s largest veterans organization and architects of the nationwide System Worth Saving program, The American Legion is uniquely qualified to offer productive solutions to issues facing those who served our country. We have been America’s strongest voice for veterans for nearly 100 years and we offer him firsthand expertise, free and untainted by partisan interests.”
The rewards are in seeing the change in our veterans after they receive their awards' “This is the best and hardest job I have ever had. The rewards are in seeing the change in our veterans after they receive their awards.” Wendy Griffin of Salt Lake City, Utah spends her days passionately advocating for veteran’s rights. In her role as a VFW Department Service Officer, she assists veterans and their families in filing claims and helping them obtain the benefits they have earned. As a veteran, Griffin knows just how much these benefits matter.  Griffin served in the United States Air Force from January 1983 to December 1990. In her role as a linguist and historian, Staff Sgt. Griffin was stationed in South Korea and Arizona. Her journey with the VFW began in 2014. Griffin began volunteering by answering phones, then became an accredited claims consultant a year later. She started her role as a VFW Department Service Officer in 2017. During a typical day, she works with up to six veterans ranging from World War II veterans to those currently serving active duty.  “There are veterans who do not know they are eligible to file a claim. For some, it is a life-changing event,” said Griffin. She recalls a memorable case with fondness. “I helped a widow file a claim for a death pension. I realized an error had been made when she originally filed a claim in 1999 after her husband passed away. The VA had denied her claim as a non-service connected death. She was awarded Dependency Indemnity Compensation based on her husband’s service backdated to the original date of claim. This led to an award of about $250,000 for the widow in back pay.” During the difficult days of explaining to veterans why their VA disability claims were denied, she reminds herself of the look of relief on the widow’s face as a reminder to strive to be the best for the veterans she serves. “At the end of the day, I can go home knowing that I helped fellow veterans receive the benefits they earned,” concluded Griffin. 
Discounts for Military (Active, Reserves, Guard Members), Retirees, Veterans and Dependents Qualifying proof in most case will be one of the following documents. Active Duty ID card, Reserves/Guardsman ID card, Military Retiree ID card, Veterans Affairs ID card, Veterans Affairs ID card stamped under picture service corrected, and State Driver’s License over stamped “VETERAN”. Not every establishment offers a discount, but it never hurts to ask, when in doubt ask the manager. * Discounts subject to change. Listings do not imply endorsement by The American Legion. Categories: Auto Care / Parts Auto Manufacturers Banking Electronics Fitness / Medical Hardware Hotels Insurance Restaurants Retail Services Storage Theme Parks / Cruises / Entertainment Transportation Website   Auto Care/Parts Advance Auto Parts: 10% off with military ID Auto Zone: Varies Per Store – Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Big 10 Tires: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Jiffy lube: 10% off with valid Military ID Kelly’s Auto Parts: Kelly’s offers a 10% discount all the time for all vets and active service members. Kragen Auto Parts: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Meineke: 10% off parts. In store only. Simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Midas: 10% off NAPA Auto Parts: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. O’Reilly Auto Parts: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Pep Boys: 10% off with valid military ID Back to top   Auto Manufactures Chrysler  (includes Dodge, Jeep, Ram & Chrysler) Chrysler's Military Bonus Cash program offers active duty, active reserve and retired (honorable discharge and 20 years of service) personnel a $500 cash allowance to be applied toward the purchase or of an eligible vehicle. Honorably discharged veterans are also eligible within six months of discharge. Ford: Discount varies GM: Varies, always well below MSRP. You can sign in online at Hyundai: All active duty, Reservist/National Guard, veteran and retired military personnel will receive an additional $500 off. Kia: offers a Military Specialty Incentive Program (up to $400 incentive depending on location) Nissan: Military personnel qualify for Nissan's Vehicle Purchase Program. Suzuki: $500 off for you and immediate family. Requires military ID Toyota: $500 off + $500 for firs time buyers. Requires military ID Back to top   Banking American Express: AMEX waives ALL fees for active duty military, including the annual fees on all of their cards. Chase Bank: Show your ID or discharge papers (DD 214) at any Chase branch when opening a checking/savings account and get the Premiere package for free (Normally $25 a month) which includes a fee free safety deposit box, debit visa and many goodies. National Credit Solutions: 25% discount, call toll free at 866-485-2540 x109, and for a direct line please call 972-746-4209 U.S. Bank: US Bank gives all active duty & veterans free Premiere checking & savings with ID or DD214. Back to top   Electronics Apple Store:  The discount varies, you need to sign up here AT&T:  Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Best Buy: Varies from store to store, but many retail locations offer a 10% discount to vets. Just ask a Best Buy sales associate about it. Dell Computers: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Hewlett-Packard: Log on to website and click on New User Registration: Enter first and last name, user name, password and email address. Use company code: 2727. Discounts vary. Online only. Sprint: 10-18% off. Sprint will also put a “hold” on your line when you are deployed, if you provide a copy of your orders, so you still have the same number when you come back and you do not have to pay for the time your gone as well. Sprint Business: 15% to 20% Discount, 1-888-788-4727 T-Mobile Wireless: Gives active and retired military 15% off their monthly bill. TrendMicro  is proud to honor the men and women of the US Military and Veterans with an exclusive offer of up to 75% off retail price!Offers include:-Antivirus + Security.  List Price:  $39.95  Special Military Offer:  $10.00-Antivirus + Premium Service:  List Price:  $59.95  Special Military Offer:  $30.00Offer valid for active duty, reservist/Guard, veterans/retirees, and military spouses. Military status verified by ID. U.S. Cellular: Active duty military and veteran U.S. Cellular customers can receive a 15% discount off their calling plan charges on individual single line and/or Family plans. Verizon: 23% discount on monthly bills. Applies only to the military member’s primary line. Verizon Wireless discount on monthly bills. Provide proof of your veteran status, such as your Veteran’s ID card, Veteran’s Advantage card, DD Form 214 or Military Retiree Account Statement. Back to top   Fitness/Medical Aids AluminumEyewear  25% discount on orders. Discount is handled via an easy to use online verification system from any product page. AvaCare Medical  10% discount on any order placed on AvaCare Medical. All active, reserve, retired or disabled U.S. veterans and immediate family members (including parents, siblings and children) with a valid military ID are qualified. Dr. Tavel 25% Discount for all Veterans, ask the store manager. AFEyeware: Discount varies, get the discount online at – This site offers military discounts for a wide range of eyeglass companies  35% military discount to all active, retired and reserved members of the US Military and their immediate family members on USA Made prescription eyewear, sunglasses, sun-clips and other eyewear accessories. GlassesUSA  Active duty, veterans, military families, military retirees, reservists and National Guard are eligible for exclusive pricing and deals, including 60% off all frames from GlassesUSA.  Gold Gym: Active duty military and veterans receive a discounted enrollment of $49 (normally $79-$199) plus an additional 20% off dues at Gold’s Gym. Haber Vision: 50% discount on all sunglasses. Online at hi HealthInnovations  Hearing aid discount for veterans- starting at only $649 each  Free shipping for all active and retired military as well as their dependents.  Up to 30% off contact lenses and free shipping on orders over $50 Military Tee Times  allows all Members of the Armed Forces, all Veterans, and all Military Family Members to find and book the best tee times and courses online 24/7.  Simone Protective Health: 20% off their nutritional hydration drink. Back to top   Hardware Hardscape Depot  Offers a 10% discount for all Active, Reserve, and Retired US Military. They are an online shop for landscape and hardscape projects located in Englewood, Colorado. They sell landscape and paver lighting, edging, installation tools and accessories. Home Depot: 10% off Year Round, to active duty, active reserve, retired military, Disabled Veterans, and immediate family. In-Store, just bring valid military ID. All other military veterans will qualify for a 10% discount on the following Holidays with a valid Form DD214 or other proof of service.Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans’ Day. Lowes – 10% off year round to active duty, active reserve, retired military, Disabled Veterans, and immediate family. Just bring in a valid military ID or enroll at All other military veterans will qualify for a 10% discount on the following Holidays with a valid Form DD214 or other proof of service.Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans’ Day. Back to top   Hotels Best Inns and Suites: Varies, must present Military ID with check-in. Best Western: Discounted room rates at Best Western hotels for active military. Present ID at check-in or when reserving via the phone. Camelback Mountain Resort  offers military discounted tickets. Choice Hotels: Discounted room rates for active military and their families. Ask about it when reserving your room. Clarion Inn: Rates within allowable per diem while on travel orders. Must present valid military ID with check-in. Comfort Inn: Rates within allowable per diem while on travel orders. Must Present valid military ID with check-in. Days Inn: Rates within allowable per diem. Must present valid military ID with check-in. DoubleTree by Hilton: Get 15% off the popular Bed & Breakfast rate when booking your room. Details here. Embassy Suites Hotels: offers exclusive discounts on leisure stays for active and retired military and their families at participating hotels and resorts. Estancia La Jolla Hotel and Spa: offers 20% off guestroom rates for Active Duty, Retiree, Veterans, Reserve/National Guard, Dependent. Great Wolf Lodge: Up to 33% off, discount varies however. Must book room over the phone rather than the internet. Hampton Inn: Book a room at any Hampton Inn and they’ll give you a flat 15% discount on your reservation. Works for retired and active military and their families. Hilton Hotels  Military employees are eligible for special government and military rates at participating locations. La Quinta Hotels: 12% discount on room reservations. Ask about it. Marriott Hotels: When booking your room ask for the military discount. Motel 6: is proud to offer all active and retired military personnel and their families a 10% discount. Radisson Suites: offers a government rate on rooms. When booking online, click "Government Rate" in the "Select a Rate" menu.Ramada: 15% to 30% – depending on availability. Must present military I.D. upon check in. Red Lion Hotels  offers military hotel discounts and preferred rates for active and retired military, as well as their families. Red Roof Inn Military leisure travelers receive a 15% discount nationwide. Sierra Suites: Rates at or below per diem depending on location. Discounts may vary and depend on availability. Must present military ID. Southern Shores Realty  offers active and retired military a discount on their vacation rental homes in the Outer Banks. StaySky Resorts in Orlando: active duty and retired service members with a special 20% discount. Travelodge: Rates within allowable per diem. Discounts may vary and depend on availability. Must present military ID. Veterans on the Lake Resort: is a non-profit resort in Ely, Minnesota for veterans, the disabled,  and their families. They offer 25% off cabins for recently returned (within the last year) veterans. Click here for details. Wyndham Hotels: Discounts vary by 140 locations. Also depend on availability. Must present military I.D. upon check in. Back to top   Insurance GEICO Active duty and retired personnel, as well as National Guardsmen and Reserve members, may be eligible for up to a 15% discount on insurance premiums. USAA We proudly serve Military Members and Their Families Back to top   Restaurants A&W Root Beer: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Acapulco: 20% off for military personnel in uniform or with valid ID. Applebee’s: Discount varies per location, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Arby’s: Discount varies per location, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Back Yard Burgers: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Bennigan’s: Active military and vets get 10% off your total check at Bennigan’s. Ben & Jerry’s: Ask about it the next time you order a scoop of ice cream. Varies by location but is typically 15%. Bob Evans: 10% discounts with your Veterans ID. Boston Market: 20% with military ID. Burger King: 10% off military discount just show proper ID. Captain D’s: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Carl’s Jr.: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Champs Sports: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Chevy’s Fresh Mex: 20% simply ask and have a valid military ID with you (unconfirmed). Chick Fil A: Varies, Discount with ID card (location dependent), discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Chipotle: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Cinnabon: 15% off at participating locations with a valid military ID. CiCi’s Pizza: A large majority of CiCi’s locations offer a military discounts, ask about it.Cold Stone Creamery: Discount varies, must present military ID. Cracker Barrel: 10-15% off, at manager’s discretion. Dairy Queen: Get a 10% off your food and ice cream at select Dairy Queen locations. Must have valid military ID. Del Taco: 50% off at participating locations with valid military ID. Denny’s: 10% Discount simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Dutch Bros Coffee: Just tell the barista you’re a Vet and they’ll give you $0.50 off any cup of coffee. Dunkin’ Donuts: Veterans advantage members save 10% on all online orders. They also send free coffee to the troops overseas. Famous Dave’s BBQ: All active and retired military can get a 10% discount. Just ask your server for your discount. Fire Department Coffee  A veteran owned company offering 15% discount to veterans on all items in our store. Friendly’s Ice Cream Stores: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Fuddruckers Burgers: Show your server your military ID and get a discount of either 10% or 15% off. Golden Corral: Flash your military ID and get 10% off your bill every time you dine. Hardee’s: According to reader Roman, they’ll give you a 10% discount if you tell them you’re a vet. Hard Rock Cafe: Get a slick 15% off discount when you show your military ID. Hooter’s: Varies by location but most Hooter’s will give a flat 15% off discount to active and retired military personnel. Often times the discount is only available on certain nights. IHOP: 10% off your entire meal when you show your military ID to your IHOP server. Java Café: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Johnny Rockets: Personnel in uniform will receive a 50% discount. KFC: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Lansdowne Resort  offers the Tribute to the Troops Package for all active and retired military personnel. Bring your family and friends to Northern Virginia's getaway spot. Lone Star Steakhouse: 10% off every day with ID and 20% off discount for military, police, and fire fighters every Monday. The cool thing is the discount is good for the entire table. Long John Silver’s: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Longhorn Steakhouse: 10% military discount. Margaritaville: 10% off with valid military ID. McDonald’s: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Old Country Buffet: Old Country Buffet offers a 10% daily military discount to all active duty, reserve or retired military personnel with a valid ID. Panchero’s Mexican Grill: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Pancho’s Mexican Buffet: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Panda Express: 10% military discount for active personnel. Just flash your ID before ordering your tasty grub. Papa Murphy’s: Participating locations will take 50% off one pizza. Pizza Hut: Discount amount varies by location but always ask and have your military ID at the ready. Popeye’s: 10% off with a valid military ID. Quizno’s: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Raising Cane’s Chickens: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Red Robin: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory: 10% military discount. Schlotzsky’s Deli: 30% off with military ID. Shoney’s: 15% off at participating locations Sizzler: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Sonic: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Subway: 10% off, if not in a military town. Sweet Tomatoes: 10% off with military ID. Taco Bell: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Texas De Brazil: Get 15% off your meal total with your military ID. Texas Roadhouse: Get up to 20% off your bill total with your active military ID. Discount varies by location, ask your server. The Melting Pot: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Wendy’s: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Zaxby’s: 10% off with military ID. Back to top   Retail Abercrombie & Fitch: 10-15% off, at manager’s discretion AC Moore  Save 15% on all regular and sale-priced purchases when you show your military I.D. Aeropostale: 10% off with military ID American Eagle Outfitters: Show your military ID and get 10% off your in-store purchase, at manager’s discretion.Anna’s Linens:  10% off any purchase with Valid Military ID. in store only. at home Year round 10% discount to all Veterans and their dependents Banana Republic Factory Store: They offer a flat 10% off for veterans every day of the year. Barnes and Noble: 6% off regular price plus free shipping, check out Barnhill’s: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops will give you a 10% discount with your military ID. Bed Bath & Beyond: Flat 10% off discounts for vets and their families. Varies from store to store. Big Lots: Be sure to shop on Veteran’s Day every year to take advantage of their military discount. Blockbuster – Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Boscov’s: 15% off in-store purchases with military ID every day. Boston Bill Sunglasses – 10% off Buckle: The Buckle military discount requires online verification. Once verified, you’ll get 10% off all purchases. Cabela’s: 5% military discount except on firearms at your local Cabela’s. Charlotte Russe: 10% discount with ID. Thanks to reader Katie for letting me know about this one. Christopher & Banks: 10% of with Military ID Comp-Tac  Active duty and reserve personnel are eligible for a 10% discount. Countryside Amish Furniture Countryside Amish Furniture provides a 10% discount for active and retired military. Crate and Barrel: offers a 10% discount to the military community. David’s Bridal – David’s Bridal is proud to honor our military members by extending an additional 10% discount to members of our armed forces. All service men and women, and their significant others, will receive this discount off of their entire purchase in addition to any other special offers, sales or coupons currently available. David’s Bridal’s Military Discount is valid on in-store purchases at US stores only and is not transferrable to immediate or extended family members or friends. All purchases must be made by a military member, spouse or significant other who is able to present a valid Military ID or DD214 at checkout and may not be designated to a third party. Military Discount will be applied after all other valid discounts, coupons or special offers are applied. Military Discount cannot be used for alteration services, shipping services, or purchases of David’s Bridal gift cards. Military Discount is not valid for online purchases and is subject to change. Dick’s Sporting Goods: The next time you are shopping at Dick’s, ask about their 10% discount for vets. Varies from store to store. Discovery Channel Store: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you.Dress Barn: Discount and participation will vary by location, bring Military ID Eastbay: 20% off online and by phone with a Veterans Advantage Card Eddie Bauer: Eddie Bauer offers a 10% discount for active and retired military personnel. Express Clothing Store: 10% off on top of other coupons as well with military ID Extreme Outfitters: 10-20% on military Gear, online and in Store Facets Collection: 10% off jewelry and 5% off all engagement rings and loose diamonds Finish Line – 20 percent military discount off select items at special locations Finishline: The folks at Finishline offer a 10% discount to vets and active military. Footaction: Vets and active military can save an awesome 20% off with ID. Family members can get the discount as well. Foot Action: 20% off with military ID Foot Locker: 20% off with military ID Forever 21: 10% off Gander Mountain: 5% off Gap: 10% military discount 1st of every month (may vary by location; in-store only). GNC: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Hanes Outlet Store: 10% off with Military ID Hot Topic: 10-20% off with military ID Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores: offers a 10% discount off your total purchase every day. Military service members and eligible family members are eligible. Jockey: 10% off with valid Military ID Jones New York Outlet Store: 10% off with valid Military ID KB Toys: 15% off during advertised Military Days. Kid’s Foot Locker: 20% off with Military ID Kohl’s: 15% off at participating locations, and manager’s discretion. Lady Foot Locker: 20% off with military IDLeslie Pool Supplies: 10% off with military ID Macy’s: 10% off on the first Tuesday of every month, 15% with a Macy’s card. Maurices: Show your ID and get a 10% discount. Michaels: Show your military ID at Michaels and get a flat 10% off. Some exclusions that vary from store to store so ask a sales associate at Michaels.  Mrs. Fields Cookies: 10% off with military ID Murphy’s Furniture:  Active, Reserve, Retired, or a Disabled Veteran with a valid ID you can get the 10% discount. Nautica  10% off with military ID New York and Company: 15% off military discount Nextel: 18% Discount, call 1-800-639-6111 Nike: 10% off, In-Store, to Active, Reserve, Guard members retired vets, as well as their families too. For official company policy please check out. Olan Mills  (JC Penney’s) Present your military ID and coupon for a free traditional 8x10, $3.99 traditional portrait sheets and 50% off collections. Old Navy: Keep an eye out and ask about Military Monday’s at Old Navy where active and retired military personnel get a 10-15% discount. Pac Sun: Discount varies per location, just bring in a valid military ID and ask. Payless Shoes: Shop at any of their retail locations and get a 10% military discount. Just show you’re ID. Play It Again Sports: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Pottery Barn: Most Pottery Barn locations offer a 10% discount for vets. Pure Beauty: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Rack Room Shoes: 15% discount. Bring in valid military ID Ralph Lauren Outlet Store: 10% off with Military ID Rockport:  offers 15% off your entire purchase, including sale and clearance. Sally Beauty Supply: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Sam’s Club: Get a $15 gift card when you become a member Samsonite: 15% off with military ID Samuel’s Diamonds: 10% off in-store with military ID Sears: Military personnel get 20% off regular priced tools or 5% off sale price tools. Must present valid military ID. Not combinable with other discounts or coupons. Valid in-store only. Spencer’s Gifts: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Sports Authority: offers a 10% discount. Throwback Sports: 15% discount for veterans and active duty military Timberland Outlets: 15%, bring in valid military ID Tommy Hilfiger: 10% with valid military ID Under Armor Outlet Store: 10% off with military ID Walgreens: Varies from store to store, but most Walgreens offer a military discount, be sure to ask. Wet Seal:  10% off Williams-Sonoma: Flat 10% discount with proper ID or proof of service. Wilson’s Leather: 10% off in-store with military ID  10% discount off an entire purchase for all active and retired US military; all that is required for this is a valid military ID. Zales Jewelry: 10% off discount for active and retired military. Back to top   Services Jackson Hewitt online, get a 25% off discount on your online Federal and State tax return preparation. Military OneSource: provides free tax preparation and filing services and tax consultations. Orkin Pest Control Services - Offers a 10% discount to all US Military and US Military Veterans when signing up for Orkin Pest Services inform them that you are an US Military Veteran. PODS: offers discounts for military personnel and veterans. Call toll free 866-556-9574 and mention promo code MILT. Sport Clips:  honors veterans with special pricing. Just show military ID to receive your discount. TaxAct  free to file your federal return with TaxACT Free Federal Edition – no restrictions. offers active duty military 50% on both federal and state returns with their Military Edition. Back to top   Storage Solutions CubeSmart:  Additional 20% off with valid Military ID. Back to top   Theme Parks/Cruises/Entertainment 2017 Summer Camps for Military Kids  Being a military kid isn’t always easy, but it comes with some benefits.  One benefit is the many free and low-cost and summer camps offered by non-profits and various programs of the Department of Defense.  These are great opportunity for military children, and may help parents defray the cost of summer child care or just have a little respite from full-time parenting. AMC Theaters: After 4 p.m. flash your military ID and get a much deserved discount on movie tickets. Anheuser Busch Amusement Parks: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Armed Forces Vacation Club  $349 for Weeklong Stays Armed Forces Vacation Club offers weeklong resort stays from $349 for active duty and retired military and their families. Atlantis Casino Resort Spa Reno Offers 15% off our best available room rates to active or retired members of the military. Simply present your valid Military ID upon check-in to receive our promotional room rates. Azamara Cruises: Discounts vary, 800-338-4962 Baseball Hall of Fame: Free admission year-round for active and retired military. Birdies for the Brave  The PGA TOUR offers free and discounted tickets to select PGA TOUR events. Busch Gardens:  One day complimentary admission for members of the military and 3 direct dependents.  Here’s to the Heroes Camp Jellystone: Get up to 20% off campsites, cabins, and more across the country. Must show valid military ID. Details here. Carnival Cruises:  10% off of cruise, but must be booked over the phone, and not online, as proof must be faxed in. Cinemark Theaters: Check this list to see all of the participating Cinemark theaters across the country. Disney Resorts: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Disneyland: Ask for details but active and retired military heroes will receive Disneyland park hotel discounts as well as a 3-day park hopper for only $129. Dollywood: 30% discount on one-day admission tickets for U.S. active or retired military, disabled veterans, and military reservists, spouses and dependents when valid military personnel IDs and dependent IDs are presented. Hersheypark  An admissions discount is available for active duty, reserves, retirees and National Guardsmen. IMAX: $1 off movie tickets with Military ID. The Intrepid Museum: located in New York, offers military discounts on admission. Active duty military and veterans get free admission to the Intrepid and Space Shuttle Pavilion. Kampgrounds of America (KOA) Discount available at some locations. Call for details. Knott’s Berry Farm: Discount entry show you’re military ID when you purchase tickets. LEGOLAND: 10% military discount at the California LEGOLAND.  Military appreciation days at the Florida location gets active and retired vets in the park for free with discounts for family members. MSC Cruises: offers up to 10% savings to active and retired military personnel, plus family members including spouses, parents, in-laws and dependent children. Military Cruise Deals: double discounts on cruises, Military Resort Deals: double discounts on Sandals and Beaches resorts, Movie Theaters: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Norwegian Cruise Lines: Save 10% off specific cruises for active military, veterans, and their families. PGA of America: The PGA of America offers Active Duty, Military Retirees, Active Reserve, National Guard, Department of Defense Civilians and their accompanying spouse complimentary Daily Grounds tickets to PGA tour events. Princess Cruises: offers up to $250 free onboard spending money for veterans as well as active, retired or disabled military personnel. Pro Football Hall of Fame The Pro Football HOF is proud to Honor the Heroes every day. Show a valid military ID at our Ticket Office and receive $5.00 off admission. $5.00 Military Discount at the Pro Football HOF Military Discount is good for all U.S. Active Duty including National Guard, Reservists and retired military service members. Spouses and Dependents (under 18) of military service members will receive $3.00 off admission. Professional Sports teams: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Regal Movie Theaters: Matinee prices for all show times. Requires Military ID Ripley’s Attractions and Museums: Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. San Diego Zoo: Free 1-day pass to the San Diego Zoo for those who are on active military duty.Sandals: 10% savings on current promotions when you purchase a Sandals Luxury All Inclusive vacation. To book this offer call 1-888-SANDALS. Active or spouse, Retired, Reserves, National Guard, Veterans are eligible. Sea World: One day complimentary admission for members of the military and 3 direct dependents. Here’s to the Heroes Sesame Park Place: One day complimentary admission for members of the military and 3 direct dependents.  Here’s to the Heroes Shedd Aquarium in Chicago Free general admission with military ID. On the Shedd Aquarium page that is hyper linked here, scroll down to “Discounts and special offers” to find out more information. Six Flags: Check out the website and collect discounted tickets to all Six Flags properties. Sporting Events  Tickets The 9/11 Memorial Museum: in New York offers U.S. veterans discounted admission ($18) and active duty military, retired military and 9/11 family members are free. United Artist Movie Theaters: Matinee prices for all show times. Requires Military ID. Universal Studios: Military discounts at Universal Studios are available when you visit the BaseOpswebsite as well. U.S. National Parks: Free annual pass to all National Parks in the United States. Walt Disney World Resort: Walt Disney World Resort offers U.S. military personnel 4-Day Military Promotional Tickets for just $138 each and up to 40% off select Disney Resorts Hotels Wildlife Conservation Society’s Bronx Zoo: Free admission ticket for active duty or reserve member of the military, also allows 50% discount in admission for up to 3 family members Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium: Enrolled military get in for free and 50% off for up to 3 family members World of Coca-Cola: All Active duty, Reserves and Retired members of the Armed Forces will receive complimentary admission to the World of Coca‑Cola. Please present valid Armed Forces ID card at Ticketing Window to redeem. More information. Yankee Candle: offers 10% off your purchase every day in all retail stores, outlet stores, and online. Back to top   Transportation How Military Members and their Families Fly Cheap Space A Travel contact the Air Mobility Command for more information. Airfare Delta JetBlue Southwest Baggage Alaska Airlines Allegiant Airlines American Airlines Delta JetBlue Other Alamo Rent a Car: Discounted rates for military families and free rental insurance and waived fees for military personnel. Amtrak:  10% off Avis:  25% off, online you should use this coupon AWD # A555084 Budget:  Varies, up to 25% off time and mileage. Store, requires military ID to redeem Budget Truck Rental:  Discount varies, simply ask and have a valid military ID with you. Dollar Car Rental  Whether traveling for official military business or leisure, discounted rates are available. Official military travelers also receive perks such as unlimited mileage, free LDW/CDW and no charge for additional and/or underage drivers. Greyhound Bus Lines - Military & Veterans If you're an active or retired military service member, we salute you. You'll get 10% off full price tickets for you and your family when purchased at the station, or a 10% discount if you have a Veterans Advantage© card(link opens in a new tab) when purchased online or at the station. Another great site for military families to go to when looking for travel discounts. Hertz: Free car upgrades from Hertz for military folks and their families. National: No fee for additional drivers, and special off duty rates per location. Service members receive full loss damage waivers Paradise Limousine: $25 Off Limousine Service Coupon Code: 1369 for service members Penske Truck Rental  Just show your military ID for a 10% discount. Veterans can show their DD Form 214 for the same discount. Thrifty Car Rental  Military personnel are eligible for government rental rates. Additionally, benefits and perks, such as free one-car-class upgrade and one-day free GPS rental, are often offered. Back to top   Websites Discounts  5% to20% discounts on car parts and accessories to active military members and their families. Best of Signs  Offers a military discount of 10%. This applies to active duty members, reserves, veterans and retirees — including spouses and dependent family members. Please e-mail us at to have the discount applied to your order. Brides Across American: Free Wedding Dresses for Military Brides The Buckle  offers an exclusive 10% discount to veterans, reservists, active duty personnel, and their dependents  10% military discount on custom made products as long as the custom items are more than 60% military related Fathead 20% off all Fathead products, every day, is open to United States active and retired service members, veterans and members of their immediate families 20% discount when you order by phone at 1-800-838-8853 Good Home Co offers active and veteran military a 10% discount on online purchases. 10 percent Military discount – Enter 892848 in code box on online order form.  Military discount of 15%, code: MILITARY15 LeafFilter 10% Military discount offered. Be sure to request a Pricing Estimate or download the Online Coupon. You can also download Informational Buyer’s Guide for more information. LifeLock offers military members, veterans and their families a 15% discount off standard memberships plus a free American Flag. MAXX HD Sunglasses  offers all members of the US Armed Forces, all veterans and all military families a 20% discount and free shipping upon valid verification. Military Tee Times  allows all Members of the Armed Forces, all Veterans, and all Military Family Members to find and book the best tee times and courses online 24/7.  My Nerds  offers a $20 discount to veterans for remote computer tech support. Nuvo: $30 off Ritmo Pregnancy Sound System. You can call 1-888-688-6462, or use coupon code MILITARY99 online at Valid military ID required for in-store purchase. Oakley: There is a website you register with that offers Oakley’s at a discounted price. Check it out online Overstock: Free Club O membership for Military personnel (5% reward dollars for every purchase, free shipping, and extra reward dollars) Proflowers  Proflowers offers military discounts. S & K Men’s Wear: 8% Discount on all items free shipping on orders over $99 & APO/FPO shipping. To access the military site at S&K you must go through their AAFES Exchange Mail Online service. Satellite Internet Pros  $100 instant savings on subscribers who decide to purchase a new HughesNet system, or a $99 savings + free installation on new subscribers who choose to rent the equipment.  Offers a military discount of 10%. This applies to active duty members, reserves, veterans and retirees including spouses and dependent family members. They ask that an APO/FPO address, .mil email address or valid military identification card be used to verify military status. Please call them at 1-888-222-4929 to have the discount applied to your order. Skyrange Internet $25 discount on HughesNet satellite internet service to veterans and members of the US military. Smith & Wesson Active duty, retired, active National Guard Reservist and Disabled Veterans can get up to a $100 mail-in rebate on most Smith & Wesson Revolvers, Pistols and Rifles.  10% off at checkout, use code mili10 online Ticket Monster sells discounted tickets to ALL events nationwide. Transit Systems 10% discount for services including freight shipping, furniture shipping, and household moving services. TurboTax:  Active duty military are eligible to file federal tax returns for free through the Intuit Tax Freedom Project Under Armour  offers a 10% Military discount off the entire purchase for Active Duty, Retirees, Veterans, Military Spouses, Military Family Members. An auto dealer association that pledges “thanks, respect, low up-front pricing, transparency and a superior showroom experience for U.S. Veterans, Active Duty and family members.” Vet Tix  Vet Tix provides tickets to all branches of currently-serving Military and Veterans, including immediate family of troops KIA.
The Department of Defense has identified more than 130,000 veterans who may be eligible for a refund for taxes paid on their disability severance payment. Veterans who are eligible for a refund for taxes paid on their disability severance payment can submit a 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return for their reimbursement. The department began mailing notices to veterans July 9. The deadline to file for the refund is one year from the date of the Defense Department notice, or three years after the due date for filing the original return for the year the disability severance payment was made, or two years after the tax was paid for the year the disability severance payment was made, according to the IRS. Affected veterans can submit a claim based on their actual disability severance payment by submitting to the IRS a completed Form 1040X, the Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. The IRS also has approved a simplified method for obtaining the refund, in which veterans can claim the standard refund amount on Form 1040X based on when they received the disability severance payment. Those standard refund amounts are $1,750 for tax years 1991 to 2005; $2,400 for tax years 2006 to 2010; and $3,200 for tax years 2011 to 2016. The disability severance payment is not taxable or subject to federal income tax withholding for a veteran meeting either of these criteria: • The veteran has a combat-related injury or illness as determined by his or her military service at separation that resulted directly from armed conflict; took place while the member was engaged in extra-hazardous service; took place under conditions simulating war, including training exercises such as maneuvers; or was caused by an instrumentality of war. • The veteran is receiving disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs or has received notification from VA approving such compensation. However, many of the veterans had taxes withheld, but the Combat-Injured Veterans Tax Fairness Act of 2016 remedies that. The act directed the secretary of defense to identify disability severance payments paid after Jan. 17, 1991, that were included as taxable income. Even if a veteran did not receive a letter from the Defense Department, the individual may still be eligible for a refund. DoD recommends visiting the IRS website and searching “combat injured veterans” for further information. Estates or surviving spouses can file a claim on behalf of a veteran who is now deceased, the IRS explains on its website.
On Friday, Aug. 3, Burton Woolery Post 18 of Bloomington, Ind., will take part in a local observance of National Ernie Pyle Day, designated as such by a U.S. Senate resolution proposed by Indiana senators Joe Donnelly and Todd Young. The event and the resolution were developed by the Ernie Pyle Legacy Foundation, founded by his family to preserve the memory of the famed World War II reporter who was killed in Japan during combat in April 1945. Pyle was a native of Indiana, and actually served three months in the Navy Reserve at the end of World War I. He later attended Indiana University in Bloomington. Post 18 was founded in 1919, but in 1945 Ernie Pyle Post 247 was founded at the university, the first World War II post to be established on an Indiana college campus. The initiative started last year in Albuquerque, N.M., Pyle’s home for many years. Gerald Maschino, executive director of the Legacy Foundation, says that event had American Legion involvement as well: local Forty-Niners Post 49 “served all the food to the veterans and families” in attendance. As for the Bloomington event, Post 18 is encouraging member attendance; managing and serving food alongside their Auxiliary unit; and bringing a number of American flags to post around the area, as well as presenting the colors. “They have been very helpful and great to work with,” Maschino says. Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton, “We Were Soldiers Once … and Young” co-author Joseph Galloway, and IU Media School Dean James Shanahan will be among the speakers. For more than 60 years until 2016, IU’s journalism program was based in Ernie Pyle Hall in the heart of campus; today the building houses a career center and recruiting/admissions offices. After the event, sculptor Tuck Langland will talk about the statue of Pyle he created that rests nearby. And the day will conclude with a one-man performance by Ronald May, portraying Pyle.
VA Health Care Watch In the wake of the access crisis that rocked the VA health care system in 2014, we've spent countless hours testifying before Congress on veterans health care benefits and working to assist veterans affected by delays in accessing VA care. All we've ever asked of VA is they provide timely, easily accessible and high quality care for veterans. In effort to continue holding VA and America's legislators accountable, we've compiled a series of reports evaluating the state of VA health care and the implementation of important reforms created by the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act.   The VFW continues to offer direct intervention on behalf of veterans who are experiencing problems accessing care. To report problems or concerns regarding VA health care or benefits, contact us by email or call 1-800-VFW-1899 (1-800-839-1899).   Hurry up and Wait Our first issued report entitled “Hurry Up and Wait,” evaluated the state of the VA health care system and identified persistent challenges and potential solutions to ensure VA delivers quality and timely care to all veterans who have earned it. However our work didn't end there. After reforms were implemented, we commissioned several surveys to gauge veterans’ experiences and evaluate the law’s most significant reform, the Veterans Choice Program. We analyzed input from more than 10,000 veterans regarding their satisfaction and access to the new program, through which veterans waiting more than 30 days for care or residing more than 40 miles from a VA medical facility are offered an opportunity to receive care from private sector health care providers in their communities. Read "Hurry Up and Wait" today.       Choice Program Our two Veterans Choice Program reports included specific recommendations regarding participation, wait-time standard, geographic eligibility, and non-VA care issues that needed to be addressed. Fortunately, the program has also remained a top priority for VA and Congress, which have addressed several issues that accompanied the program's roll-out. Concerns and advocacy of VFW members led VA to change the way it calculates geographic eligibility from “as the crow flies” distance to driving distance, aligning it with VA beneficiary travel. Read our initial findings on the Veterans Choice Program, and our most recent report on the Veterans Choice Program.   Our Care   The VFW is committed to ensuring needed VA reforms are based on the needs, preferences and expectations of the men and women it was designed to serve – not political rhetoric. "Our Care," a 2015 report, evaluated the veterans’ health care landscape based on responses from a diverse cross-section of military veterans. It included conclusions on veterans’ options, preferences and expectations when seeking health care, which we believe should serve as the bases for changes to the VA health care system. Read the "Our Care" report. To gauge whether changes VA and Congress have made to the VA health care system since 2014 are having a tangible impact on the views and experiences of veterans, VFW commissioned a 2017 follow-up survey to “Our Care.” The 2018 follow-up survey indicates that veterans continue to face access, customer service and inconsistency issues when seeking VA health care, but are satisfied with the care they receive from VA, and the majority of them choose to stay with VA when offered the ability to use private sector doctors. Appointments can be completed more quickly by private providers, but veterans feel rushed and face challenges with referrals, out-of-pocket cost, and time with provider. See more results from "Our Care 2018".   In Their Words With the increase of women wearing our nation’s uniform and their increased role in military operations, it has never been more important to ensure VA is ready and able to care for women veterans when they embark on the difficult transition from military service back to civilian life. To gauge how well VA is serving women veterans and to identify areas where it needs to improve, the VFW's women veterans’ advisory team commissioned the "In Their Words" survey. Analyzing survey responses and direct feedback from nearly 2,000 women veterans, the VFW  identified nine recommendations to improve VA health care, outreach, training, homeless programs and other benefits. Read the results of our "In Their Words" survey.   Independent Budget     Based on direct feedback from veterans, site visits to VA medical facilities around the country, and historical expertise the VFW along with its Independent Budget partners, DAV and PAV, developed a veterans health care reform framework centered on veteran perspectives and focused on the positives and negatives of the current VA health care delivery system. Read the "Independent Budget: A Framework for Veterans Health Care Reform"full report.   Commission on Care A congressionally mandated “Commission on Care” was charged with examining veterans’ access to VA health care and making recommendations for improvements. VFW testified numerous times to ensure its recommendations were aligned with veterans' real-world preferences and health care needs. On July 6, 2016, the commission released its final report which outlined 18 recommendations. While the VFW supported most of the recommendations, we had serious concerns with suggestions to establish a politically-appointed board of directors to govern the VA health care system, and to give veterans a list of primary care doctors and ask them to shop around for one willing to see them as a patient.Read theVFW’s views on the commission's recommendations.