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Today is not about your taxes.

Today, we’re happy to put US expat taxes aside to share a tribute to Veterans Day from our friends at Overseas Vote Foundation. As you all know, this coming year is an important one in terms of US elections, and the team at Overseas Vote Foundation helps to ensure that expats are not excluded from the voting! So, we’ll continue to share information about key dates, and how you can exercise your right to vote over the coming months, all courtesy of the OVF. For today, though, wherever you are, forget about US expat taxes. Please join us in honoring our veterans.

“Did you know that Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day?  It became a federal holiday in 1938, but has been celebrated in the United States and some other countries (as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day) since the signing of the armistice agreement between the Allied Nations and Germany “on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.”  The agreement temporarily halted hostilities in “the Great War” and paved the path towards the Treaty of Versailles in 1919, officially putting an end to World War I. “

How does an Injured Veteran Vote?

Many of our veterans have returned from war with injuries, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and amputated limbs — all of which can make voting very difficult.  In 2012, the State of Georgia is conducting a pilot study to see whether there are ways to make voting easier for injured veterans, including audio and visual aids.

“Think, for example, of a soldier wounded from an IED explosion, which damaged his or her cognitive abilities.  Would an audio or visual ballot make their voting experience more successful and meaningful?  The driving belief here is that these wounded men and women have given part of their lives to defend our most basic rights, starting with the right to vote. Shouldn’t we do everything in our power to ensure that they too are able to exercise their franchise?”

How to Thank a Veteran from Overseas

Thanking a veteran may seem difficult to do from overseas, but there are plenty of ideas to offer thanks to those who have sacrificed their well-beings for our civil liberties.

  • Find out whether your state has a “Vote in Honor of a Vet” program.  You might be able to dedicate a tribute to your friend or loved one from overseas.
  • If you know a veteran who would like to help share his or her story with future generations, point him or her to the Library of Congress’ Veterans History Project.
  • If you do not know a veteran, or if you do, you can always:
    • Tweet words of thanks to #ThankAVet (a social campaign by History.com)
    • Write a letter or send a care package (see more at Operation Gratitude)

Additional Information About Veterans Day and US Expat Taxes

As always, if you need help on your US expat taxes, contact Greenback Expat Tax Services.