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Austria Part 1

Austria is home to some of the most celebrated music festivals in the world like the Salzburg Festival (of “The Sound of Music” fame), Haydn Festival and the International Chamber of Music Festival in Vienna. Its capital, Vienna, has also been dubbed as the musical capital of Europe. For enthusiasts of both music and art, a trip to Austria would certainly be an enthusing option. Austria is, after all, the birthplace of Mozart.

For those who are just mildly or even remotely interested in the arts, Austria’s artistic influence would merely be an added bonus to some of the other must-sees in the area including horse dances, the country’s snow-covered Alps during winter and the breathtaking castles. The Schloss Bernstein, for one, sits atop a village of the same name and provides a majestic view of its namesake. The castle sits beside Europe’s second largest river, the Danube River.

Horse dances is a travel experience you wouldn’t want to miss when in Austria. The people of this country are very fond of horse riding. Schools that showcase Austria’s 400-year old horsemanship stage open door performances. Just remember to book your ticket beforehand.

Austria experiences rain showers the whole year round and its summer is moderate in temperature—something to consider on your visit. Another thing to keep tabs on is the culture of the locals. The usual etiquette when meeting someone for the first time applies, e.g. addressing the person by their last name until given the permission to do otherwise and offering a handshake.
German is the national language of Austria and is the language predominantly spoken by locals. It can sometimes differ from Standard German, depending on the locality. Some of the minor languages in use in Austria include Slovene, Hungarian, Croatian and Turkish. A simple “Guten Tag” or “Gruss Gotta,” however, is acceptable when greeting people in public; “Auf Wiedersehen” when saying goodbye.

When going around town, it is customary to give cab drivers a 10% tip and to leave a 5% tip on top of your restaurant bill, regardless of the usual service charge.
Additionally, take note of the following duty free items when shopping for gifts to take back home:

1. 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco or a proportional mix of these products
2. 1L of spirits over 22% or 2L of fortified wine or spirits up to 22& or 2L of sparkling wine or liqueur and 2L of still wine
3. 500g of coffee or 200g of extracts, essences or concentrates of coffee
4. 100g of tea or 40g of tea extracts
5. 50g of perfume or eau de toilette
6. Medicines sufficient for the journey

All the mentioned items above must be carried by a person over 17 years old.

What Is The Durable Power Of Attorney For?

During deployments, Legal Offices on post usually always provide services for general and special POAs but what is a durable POA? A Power of attorney is legal and it gives a person the authority to act as an agent dealing in all matters of the principal. The power of attorney which is durable means that the contract has to state the validity of the document if the principal falls sick or dies.
This is useful in cases when the principal seriously falls ill or disabled and also if the property does not need funds to set up. This legal document is also used in the case of couples who are married who have a joined account. Every legal document is different from another so the laws for creating them are also different. South Carolina prepares the power of attorney in the same way as they prepare a will. California has a different system so before you make this document you should have sufficient knowledge about legal matters. One problem remains with the durable document; the principal might not want his agent to take liberations on few things. Therefore it should be stated in the contract that which decisions the agent can take and which ones he cannot and also state that the legal contract will be valid if the principal becomes disabled.

Many responsibilities and decisions could be covered by the power of attorney. These include:

• Gifts which play a huge role in tax planning
• Access the deposit boxes which were used as safes.
• Signing the tax returns, the IRS documents, also settling disputes over tax.
• Pursue matters which are legal or proceedings on the principal’s behalf.
• Collect the principal’s benefits from insurances such as health.
• Amending or setting trust funds.
• To ask the agent to withdraw.

The laws are very different in every case. In cases such as divorce, once the couple is separated, the agent is also terminated. The contract can be termed as invalid if the principal is found ineffective while signing the document.

The contract can become invalid if the agent becomes ineffective,dies or is unavailable.

To keep away from such difficulties, most legal offices either offer Special POAs, or General, or offer help with your will packet.

Military Appreciation Month/Day

Military Appreciation Day

The military is an important aspect of the United State’s defense. Military Appreciation Day usually takes place at the end of May because it is near Memorial Day. Most cities and towns have their own dates for Military Appreciation Day. During this time, many restaurants and retail stores have free things for veterans and those that are currently active service men and women.

It is important to have a military because the United States needs to protect its freedom and keep its homeland secure. Since the war in Iraq has not made many headlines in the news any more many military people feel like theirs and their families’ sacrifices go unnoticed and unappreciated. Putting their lives on the line every single day is a huge sacrifice for them. They are asked to go on very long deployments which impact not only themselves but their family members as well. These men and women are willing to die for freedom so it is important to show them as much appreciation as possible.

People who want to show their appreciation can do many things to help the cause. Putting flags on military graves, volunteering at veterans’ hospitals, writing letters to men and women in the military, donating to military charities, and sending care boxes to people in the military are great ways to help. There are organizations in all of the fifty states that help to get Americans involved with helping out military members.

Volunteering and helping out veterans is a great way to help because many soldiers come back from the war and are hurt or injured and will need to be in a veteran’s hospital for a long time. Some of these men and women have no family members or friends to lean on so by volunteering they can be less lonely and have people other than medical personnel to interact with. A kind word, reading to someone, talking about the day or news stories, and just showing up can really help someone get better and get their mind off of the awful things that they have seen while at war.

People do not have to spend a lot of money to help show their appreciation. Many service members feel homesick when they are deployed so even sending emails to people in the military through pen pal organizations can be very helpful. Other inexpensive ways to help are to organize yard sales, bake sales, and other events to raise money for military charities. Donating your time and getting involved shows that you like military men and women want to make the United States and the entire world as a whole a much better place. Military Appreciation Day comes once a year but all Americans should show their appreciation for their freedoms and the sacrifices that are made to secure those freedoms every day regardless of what the calendar says.

The Military Postal Service Agency (MPSA) was created in 1980 to facilitate efficient and economical delivery of mail to all DOD employees—military and civilian– stationed abroad. It is the meeting point between the United States Postal Service (USPS) and the Department of Defense. By law, the MPSA must abide by USPS regulations, federal laws, and laws and postal agreements of other countries with which it interacts.

The two systems are similar, with the goal of the MPSA being to deliver mail service to its clients abroad comparable to mail service in the United States. Mail classifications are the same, and most USPS postal services are also offered by MPSA. COD and delivery confirmation service are not offered by MPSA.

Overseas military addresses include either APO, which stands for Army or Air Force Post Office, or FPO, Fleet Post Office, which is used for the Navy and Marines. After the APO or FPO will be the further designation of AA (Armed Forces America), AE (Armed Forces Europe) which also applies to Africa, the Middle East, and Canada, or AP (Armed Forces Pacific). The military address will also include a zip code.

Mail to the military abroad is not addressed the same as domestic mail. Pieces of mail should be addressed with the name of the individual, the name of the unit, APO or FPO with AA, AE, or AP and the appropriate zip code. A return address should always be used.

When overseas military mail enters the postal system, it is handled by USPS personnel. It is sorted and routed to either the Joint Military Postal Activity (JMPA) Atlantic in New York, or the JMPA Pacific in San Francisco. There it enters the MPSA system and is sent, by air or by ship, on its way toward its final destination.

Retrograde mail, from abroad to domestic destinations, reverses the process, beginning in the MPSA system and ending in the USPS system for delivery.

Mail going to the European, Central/South American, or Pacific theaters that is sent by air usually has a transit time of 7 days. There is a 10-13 day transit time for the Southwest Asia theater. The MPSA has a 30 day goal for surface transit mail to the European or Pacific theaters.

Just as in domestic mail service, during holiday periods, delivery times can be longer. To assure timely delivery during these periods, check a local post office or the USPS website (usps.com) for suggested mailing deadlines.

Mail destined for military post offices overseas must comply with all USPS regulations imposed on domestic and international mail. These include restrictions on firearms, dangerous materials, foodstuffs, pornography, etc.

In addition, mailings destined for destinations in Afghanistan (OEF-Operation Enduring Freedom) and in Iraq (OIF-Operation Iraqi Freedom) may carry additional restrictions. These include no pork or pork products, religious products contrary to the Muslim faith in bulk, etc. There is no Express Mail Military Service from any origin.

Mail destined for any overseas destination must generally carry a custom declaration listing the items included in the parcel or packet. All mail must conform to the custom laws of the country to which it is destined. Retrograde mail must conform to U.S. custom laws as it enters the United States.

In the past, mail was accepted that was addressed to “Any Service Member.” Americans with no specific friend or family used this to send letters and parcels to express support for our troops. This practice has been discontinued because of security concerns as well as transportation issues. Mail addressed generically is no longer accepted. Mail must be addressed to a specific individual.

There are, however, several organizations that can provide specific names and addresses of service members to registered individuals. Other organizations send care packages and letters directly to service members. For a complete list of organizations sending care packages, go to APOShoppers.com for its free Deployment Guide—Unrestricted booklet.