July is here and there is a lot going on with and for veterans. I hope you all helped celebrate the fourth of July safely and enjoyed the fireworks. Our freedoms are a precious commodity and should not be taken for granted. A lot of our veterans have fought long and hard for the freedoms we enjoy. Thank a veteran when you recognize one. They do appreciate it.

Some news of sort - if you have free time on your hands and want to help a veteran, the Danville, Ill. Chaplain Service is looking for volunteers to help wheelchair bound veterans get to and from chaplain services specifically on Sundays. Those interested should contact VA's Tammy Zapata at 217-554-5845 or Sara Craft at 765-492-3210.

Update on the Stolen Valor Act which has now became law as of June 3. It is now a federal crime for an individual to fraudulently hold oneself out to be a recipient of any of several specified military decorations or medals with the intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefit. The law covers such issues as lying to receive veteran or health-care benefits, obtaining a government contract only eligible for a veteran or service-disabled veteran-owned business or getting a job reserved for a veteran.

The Property Tax Deduction has been updated for those of you who have had war time service. You will have to have at least 90 days active duty time or longer in some cases. You need to have had been called to active duty not just drill time. If you do not own real property like a home or farm you can receive a tax deduction for your automobile excise tax up to a limit of $70. You can use this deduction on up to two vehicles. This will begin after Jan 1, 2014 so please don't call the auditor's office about this until after that date. The exception to this is if you are a disabled veteran or a veteran with a service connected disability has not changed. Special requirements exist.