Episode 91: Featuring Jodie Grenier and Debra Falcone

Jodie Grenier - Foundation for Woman Warriors 

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Jodie Grenier, Marine Corps Veteran, Executive Director for Foundation for Woman Warriors joined James Carmody on Rise Up Radio to talk about the Foundation and the needs it is meeting for our women veterans. Grenier, who joined the Marines right out of high school, trained at the Naval Marine Corps Intelligent Center out of boot camp. She served during the invasion of Iraq as an Intel analyst. She tells Carmody, “Essentially my job was to mitigate threats to our troops that were forward of my command center. You have to be able to identify what’s an enemy weapons center from your own friendly. You’re providing information to commanders to make tactical and strategic decision. I learned very quickly I was capable of anything. If you apply yourself and if you commit yourself to learning and being just the best you can be, that no task is a challenge, it’s an opportunity.” She explains that when she got out of the Marine Corps it was during the time when there were no real resources for transitioning veterans especially when it came to assistance or mentorships. Which is why the Foundation for Women Warriors is so important today for our women veterans. According to Grenier there are currently 214,000 women in service today. With the number of women veterans reaching close to two million, the Foundation for Women Warriors mission is to help women veterans become all they can be after their military service. “We circle around the idea that our services are a hand up not a hand out. Coming from a marine background and understanding the veteran spirit is that of a warrior, and it doesn’t cease to exist once you get out of the military. We’re investing in people who are setting goals and attempting to achieve things outside of the military,” she said. The Foundation has a robust resource and referral program with other non-profits to provide women veterans with the services they need. They provide emergency help with rent and other expenses, provide a Child Care Assistance Program and help them connect with civilian business owners and continue their education. “I don’t think any woman that serves our country should have to sacrifice her education because essentially it’s not just an investment in her, it’s also an investment in that child.”

 

Debra Falcone - Taxpayer Advocate Service & Local Taxpayer Advocate

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Debra Falcone is a local Taxpayer Advocate for the San Diego area. She joined Rise Up Radio host, James Carmody to talk about the Taxpayer Advocate Service and how it is available free of charge to help taxpayers deal with and resolves issues with the IRS. Falcone has worked for the IRS for 26 years and began working as a taxpayer advocate two years ago. The Advocate Service, according to Falcone, is an independent organization within the IRS that was created and mandated by Congress in 1998 through the IRS Restructuring Act. Falcone explains their job is to reach out the community and reach as many taxpayers as possible to inform them that they are here to help them with any issues they may have with the IRS that cannot be resolved through normal channels. “My job is to help Taxpayer Advocate to become a known organization in our area. I want people to know that when they have tax issues, whether it’s ‘I don’t know where to file my tax return, I need some help, I can’t afford to pay someone to prepare my taxes, or I got a bill from IRS, to I can’t even pay my rent how am I going to pay the IRS. We’re here to intervene for you and to advocate for you to resolve that issue so you can move forward in your life”, she explains. Falcone also wants to get the word out to veterans and military service members that they are here to help them with the unique situations those who serve or served in the military experience. She discusses the IRS levies that military veterans can find themselves being stuck with on their retirement income and how the Taxpayer Advocate is available for them, at no cost. “We have a lot of homeless veterans, and I want to say, I think, the figure I got was some 40,000 people are collecting military pensions and are homeless. That’s a huge amount of people. So how can they not be suffering in economic hardship if the IRS levies them? They’re already homeless. So we want to get those people on their feet financially, the tax portion of their life, get that straightened out.” She went on to say, “If people just have a question, they can call the local number 619-744-7156 or 877-777-4778 National Taxpayer Advocate.” Falcone also discusses a new initiative started this year called “Problem Solving Days, gives examples of the kind of assistance they provide and how they are working with Congress to gain legislative support they need.

 

TAKE ACTION

1. DASpedia is hosting its 2nd Annual Wireless for Veterans Gala and Networking event on Nov. 9, 2017 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA from 4pm - 9:30pm. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Foundation for Women Warriors. It will be an amazing networking event. To get your tickets and learn more about Foundation for Women Warriors and the Wireless for Veterans Gala, head over to their website

2. Taxpayer Advocate Service has a self-help website that is designed to educate taxpayers about common tax issues and steps to take to resolve certain issues in a timely manner and other resources taxpayers may have questions about. Visit the Taxpayer Advocate's website to get all the help you may need!