More Service Members Eligible for 
Tax Relief, Danger Pay

     WASHINGTON - (Courtesy of Sgt. 1st Class Doug Sample, USA, American Forces Press Service) Tax relief and special pay for service members involved in Operation Iraqi Freedom have expanded.  An April 11 DoD memo certified that Iraqi Freedom personnel stationed in Turkey and Israel and deployed to Mediterranean waters east of 30 degrees east longitude are now eligible for combat zone tax relief. Find out how to  qualify for imminent danger pay.

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American Communities  
to Help Military Families



Operation Homefront brings peace of mind to servicemembers deployed to Middle East


           As tens of thousands of troops deploy from this and other military towns across the United States, their friends and neighbors down the street are joining together to help the families left behind by deployed servicemembers.


            The organization key behind this effort is Operation Homefront, a charity founded almost spontaneously during last year’s deployments to Afghanistan by The Roger Hedgecock Show, Southern California ’s top talk radio host, and, a non-profit organization and the Internet’s largest community of military wives and women in uniform.  The charity operates a 24/7 hotline for military wives to call in to a cadre of volunteers from who then coordinate with The Roger Hedgecock Show to obtain donated products and services from the local community. 


            “The deployments to Afghanistan were so last-minute that the show began receiving these crazy calls for help from military families who weren’t prepared or were too young and new to the area to know how to handle the situation,” said Roger Hedgecock.  “We were also receiving thousands of calls from local citizens after 9/11 who wanted to help in some way.  Operation Homefront was our way of putting the two together, and the community has been united by the effort.”


            “We were grateful and relieved when Roger contacted us about creating Operation Homefront,” said Meredith Leyva, founder of  “Thousands of wives were coming to our site asking for assistance, and command family support leaders were scrambling to help them.  By getting the community involved, Roger has brought much needed help to these women and their children while giving servicemembers peace of mind so they can focus on the dangerous task at hand.”


While much of the assistance pertains to the ‘Murphy’s Law’ of military life, meaning that major household items and cars will inevitably break down shortly after a service member deploys, Operation Homefront has rapidly become known for handling far more serious crises including eviction and homelessness.  Nearly 100,000 women join the ranks of military wives each year, usually between the ages of 18 and 25, and there is nearly 100 percent turnover among wives every six years – meaning almost none of these families participated in the Persian Gulf War. While most military wives are capable of handling the stressful job of single-handedly parenting and running a household, family support leaders have come across wives with small children who were left with no money or resources and thousands of miles away from their extended families.  Neither the servicemember nor the wife knew any better.  One wife and newborn was found on base housing with nothing more than a large bag of fast-food hamburgers intended to last them though the six-month deployment.


Nearly 50 percent of Operation Homefront case referrals come from military sources, such as command family support groups, who do not have the resources or cannot help a family in an official capacity due to the complicated and sensitive nature of some situations.  Family leaders such as Navy Ombudsmen and Marine Corps Key Volunteers have come to trust Operation Homefront for their quick follow-through and 100 percent response.


While Operation Homefront is thriving in Southern California , other communities such as Chicago , Charleston and Modesto are jumping on board and inviting Operation Homefront to their area.  Local talk radio hosts and volunteers have heard about Operation Homefront either through Roger’s frequent fill-in appearances on The Rush Limbaugh Show or through internal sources at Clear Channel Communications, the radio network that airs The Roger Hedgecock Show.  Similarly, military wives and regular visitors to are creating the organizational infrastructure in their area. Roger and welcome the interest.


“There isn’t a neighborhood in America right now that isn’t home to the family of a deployed servicemember, whether active duty, Guard or Reserve,” said Sandra Aldridge, the “XO” of and the director of Operation Homefront in San Diego.  “The most important thing Americans can do right now is to offer a little help to these families, whether it be a donated product or service from their local business or   volunteering to mow the lawn or provide transportation.  Little things like that go along way toward letting our troops know that we support them and are taking care of their families while they are away.”


For more information on Operation Homefront, visit or contact Meredith Leyva at (850) 233-2101.



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