(U.S. Army/Sgt. Amber Smith)

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Congress fell short ahead of Memorial Day weekend, failing to pass legislation that would provide tax relief for the families of military personnel killed during their service.

Senators unanimously approved a version of the bipartisan Gold Star Family Tax Relief Act Tuesday sending it back to the House of Representatives, where it was tied to a retirement savings bill as an amendment, and passed Thursday.

When it got back to the Senate, the larger piece of legislation failed to pass and make its way to the President Trump's desk.

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(U.S. Air Force graphic)

(Reuters) - A bipartisan group of state attorneys general on Friday called on U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to forgive more than $1 billion of student loans burdening more than 42,000 veterans who became permanently disabled through their military service.

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U.S. Marine Corps Veterans salute during the 5th Marines Vietnam War Memorial unveiling ceremony in the Camp San Mateo Memorial Garden at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., May 28, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps/Lance Cpl. Rhita Daniel)

California's high cost of living makes it a difficult place for retired military service members to settle down, according to an annual report by financial services website WalletHub.

California — home to the largest number of active-duty troops in the nation — fares poorly in the survey when it comes to affordable housing, homelessness and the proportion of of businesses in the state that are owned by veterans.

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President Trump recognizes Gold Star families on Memorial Day, 2018. Photo: Sgt. Amber Smith/U.S. Army

Editor's Note: This article by Patricia Kime originally appeared onMilitary.com, a leading source of news for the military and veteran community.

With momentum growing in Congress to repeal a new tax hike on the families of some deceased service members, military advocates hope this will be the year another surviving military spouse pay issue — the so-called "widow's tax" — ends.

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A child carries roses through Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 25, 2015. (U.S. Army/Rachel Larue)

For some, tax season brings a small boon in the form of a refund. For others it can be a source of stress.

But Theresa Jones sees it as an annual reminder of her husband, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Landon Jones, who was killed in a helicopter crash on Sept. 22, 2013.

Since then, Jones and her two sons, ages 5 and 11, have received monthly compensation in the form of survivor benefits — one allotment through the Department of Defense is taxable, and another through the Department of Veterans Affairs, which is not taxed.

For the past several years she's had to pay roughly $1,150 in taxes on her sons' benefits. This year, it was $5,400.

"My kids are owing the government back money, that the government gave them, because their dad died, and my kids have to pay it back," Jones told Task & Purpose. "And every year this comes around and it's just this reminder of this tragedy, and it's literally like throwing salt in the wound."

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(U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Michael R. Holzworth)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday said he'll order the state to immediately provide free college tuition to families of military service members killed anywhere in the line of duty.

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