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10 big Spring events offering free tickets to US military veterans
Now that the holidays are over and 2019 has kicked off, the warmer temperatures of Spring are a great time to start the season off by spending quality time with your family and friends. An easy and inexpensive way to accomplish that is by taking them to some of the many family themed that Vet Tix has tickets available for throughout the country.
You may not be as lucky as our two VetTixers and their guests who attended the Super Bowl through however there are always great events we receive donations to. If you're a NASCAR fan, Kurt Bush donated 100 tickets to every Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series race to Vet Tix through his KB100 program so keep an eye out for those in your local area.
Below is a sampling of the hundreds of events Vet Tix has free tickets to for Vet Tix members. Don't see anything in your area? We get new events daily so be sure to check your emails for new events.
- March 18th — Portland, OR. – Portland Train Blazers vs. Indiana Pacers
- March 21st — Cleveland, OH. – Strauss, A Heroes' Life Presented by the Cleveland Orchestra
- March 24th — Kissimmee, FL. - Ram National Circuit Rodeo Finals-National Patriotic Day
- March 24th — Martinsville, VA. – KB100- Kurt Bush Fan Appreciation; Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Spring STP 500
- April 3rd — Washington, DC. – Washington Wizards vs. Chicago Bulls
- April 6th & 7th — Philadelphia, PA. – Paw Patrol
- April 12th —Dallas, TX. - Eric Church; Double Down Tour
- April 25th —Ontario, CA. – Disney on Ice Presents Worlds of Enchantment
- April 26th — Baton Rouge, LA. – Monster Jam
- April 27th — East Rutherford, N.J. – Monster Energy Supercross
To become a VetTixer and to request tickets to these and hundreds of other events — which are free except for a very small delivery fee — visit VetTix.org to create a free account. Once you've created an account and we've verified your status as military or a veteran, you can review hundreds of upcoming events across the country.
Steven Weintraub is Chief Strategy Officer of the Veteran Tickets Foundation (Vet Tix) and a Colonel in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve. Vet Tix is ranked as the 2018 Top-rated Nonprofit in the United States by GreatNonprofits. Follow Steven Weintraub on Twitter @weintraub_sd
One of the incredible benefits of military life is the occasional influx of money, a la bonuses. Whether you're re-enlisting or about to ride on that tax-free train, it's time to talk about what to do with that extra scrilla.
Here are 6 things to do with your bonus:
1. Have a strategy
Just as you came up with a method for making your bed the fastest in the barracks and nailed down how many minutes it takes from being horizontal to being in formation, you need a plan for what you're going to do with the extra money. The best way to accidentally spend it on Ubers and pizza and six packs without even realizing it, is to let it sit in your checking account without a solid plan. Bonuses are an excellent opportunity to establish or update your financial health. Not sure what to do with all that green? Ask a financial advisor to help you. Many of the larger institutions, such as Navy Federal Credit Union, offer financial counseling services.
2. Pay off that debt!
So you booked a trip to Bali right after basic when you had 72 hours of leave and bought all the things there, including round-trip airfare for that girl you met on the beach that had always wanted to see New York. Or, maybe you bought the truck with the options you couldn't quite afford and you still have 93 months left on your payment plan. We're not judging. Paying off debt, especially that of the high interest and unsecured varieties is an excellent use of your money. By paying that off now, you're saving so much in the long run by not having to pay interest.
3. Invest in a Roth IRA
Do future you a giant solid and invest the cash in something that will grow as much as those muscles after a good Crossfit workout. How about a Roth IRA? The benefit to something like a Roth IRA is that it allows your money to grow tax-free, and then when you withdraw that bad boy at retirement time, you don't pay taxes on it. Wins all around.
4. Invest in a 529 or ESA
It seems like every week we're reading a different headline on the changes to the GI Bill. Maybe your kids will get it, maybe they won't. With ever-changing rules and politics always at play, the GI Bill is about as assured in 18 years as your 1-year-old getting that soccer scholarship. It's always good to have a back-up, so investing in a 529 plan or an Education Savings Account (ESA) for your little Beckham or Hamm isn't a bad idea. Learn more about the plans, here.
5. Create or establish an emergency fund
Hard to believe the military would ever give you short notice that instead of moving across the state, you're moving across the world, but alas, here you are trying to figure out how to ship a pet across the Pacific on your own dime. And, you know as well as the next person that as soon as you deploy, your car is going to break, a kid is going to break an arm, your appliances are going to blow, and so is that tiny extra stash of savings you had. Emergencies happen. Whether it's flying your whole family home for a funeral or paying for the unexpected out of pocket, putting your extra money in a separate account just for these types of occurrences is a great use of your cash. #Life happens, be ready for it.
6. Treat yo'self
You've paid off your debt, you have a nice little stash o' cash and you're feeling good about your financial future. Well, boo, treat yo'self. Maybe you don't book the first flight to Sin City, but invest in the photography class you've always wanted to take. Or finally take that family vacation (look kids, Big Ben!) you've been putting off until you were in a better spot. Whether you're splurging on Hamilton tickets or a monster truck rally, taking a little of your money for yourself is well-deserved.
No matter how you use the extra cash, Navy Federal Credit Union can help you reach your financial goals and meet all your financial needs. It's their mission to put you first. Let them.
This post sponsored by Navy Federal Credit Union.
NASA is reportedly investigating one of its astronauts in a case that appears to involve the first allegations of criminal activity from space.
Hackers could have breached US bioterrorism defenses for years, records show. We'll never know if they did
The Department of Homeland Security stored sensitive data from the nation's bioterrorism defense program on an insecure website where it was vulnerable to attacks by hackers for over a decade, according to government documents reviewed by The Los Angeles Times.
The data included the locations of at least some BioWatch air samplers, which are installed at subway stations and other public locations in more than 30 U.S. cities and are designed to detect anthrax or other airborne biological weapons, Homeland Security officials confirmed. It also included the results of tests for possible pathogens, a list of biological agents that could be detected and response plans that would be put in place in the event of an attack.
The information — housed on a dot-org website run by a private contractor — has been moved behind a secure federal government firewall, and the website was shut down in May. But Homeland Security officials acknowledge they do not know whether hackers ever gained access to the data.
The State Department doesn't really care if its human rights training for partner security forces is working or not
By law, the United States is required to promote "human rights and fundamental freedoms" when it trains foreign militaries. So it makes sense that if the U.S. government is going to spend billions on foreign security assistance every year, it should probably systematically track whether that human rights training is actually having an impact or not, right?
Apparently not. According to a new audit from the Government Accountability Office, both the Departments of Defense and State "have not assessed the effectiveness of human rights training for foreign security forces" — and while the Pentagon agreed to establish a process to do so, State simply can't be bothered.
A Kansas VA hospital police supervisor reported 'dangerous' deficiencies among his officers. Now he says he faced retaliation
The Kansas City VA Medical Center is still dealing with the fallout of a violent confrontation last year between one of its police officers and a patient, with the Kansas City Police Department launching a homicide investigation.
And now Topeka's VA hospital is dealing with an internal dispute between leaders of its Veterans Affairs police force that raises new questions about how the agency nationwide treats patients — and the officers who report misconduct by colleagues.