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AT - TAQADDUM, Iraq - Navy Lt. Megan K. Smith, deputy staff judge advocate, Marine wing headquarters squadron 3, speaks to Cpl. Darius P. Sanojca, air framer, from Fair Lawn, N.J., about his taxes here, Feb. 29. Being able to provide this opportunity to file taxes while service members are on deployment, gives Smith, from Petersburg, Ill., a sense of accomplishment.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Robert C. Medina

Legal eagles tackle Anbar taxes

28 Feb 2008 | Lance Cpl. Robert C. Medina

A pair of staff judge advocates are traveling the Anbar province, helping deployed service members one W-2 at a time.

 Navy Lt. Megan K. Smith, deputy staff judge advocate with Marine Wing Headquarters Squadron 3, is providing SJA assistance during this tax-season. Along with her is Navy Lt. Jeff M. Pearson, a judge advocate with Legal Service Support Team, 1st Marine Logistics Group. The two made a stop here Feb. 28 – 29.

 Being able to provide service members the opportunity to file taxes while on deployment gives both SJAs a sense of accomplishment.

 “Our mission is to help service members keep their minds off of their legal problems back home. We want them to be able to focus more on what they need to do out here,” said Pearson, from Camden, S.C.

 He added that this is the first time SJAs have traveled the area of operations to help with taxes.

 “If people let us know there is a need for us, we will go help them,” said Smith, from Petersburg, Ill.

 The duo is doing just that, visiting each camp for about four days.

 “I think what they are doing here is great, said Cpl. Dallas B. Duncantell, defense clerk, Headquarters and Service Company. “It’s another service the legal community gets to offer.”

 Before they left, Smith and Pearson filed 51 tax forms in two days. They were able to return a total of $70,000 in tax refunds to the service members they helped.

 They are scheduled to return here in late April.


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