Cards will verify veteran status
WHAT: Veterans ID Card.
WHEN: 10 a.m. - noon, Jan. 8-10.
WHERE: Glenn County Veterans Service Office, 525 W. Sycamore St., Suite A5, Willows.
Glenn County veterans will finally receive identification that recognizes their faithful service to their country.
The county Veterans Service Office will begin issuing identification cards beginning Jan. 8.
The photo identification will allow those who served honorably in the US military to prove their status as a veteran, which could entitle them to a number of promotions or discounts, said Veterans Services Officer Cindy Holley.
"A lot of restaurants and other businesses offer a discount to veterans," Holley said. "But many veterans miss out on these discounts because they don't walk around with their discharge papers in their back pocket."
Prior to the HR 2985, the Veterans ID Card Act of 2011, only military retirees and those who received VA medical benefits were issued identification cards, Holley said.
The DD Form 214, a "certificate of release or discharge" has been issued to all veterans since 1950, but it was criticized as being too bulky and sensitive to carry in comparison to a pocket-sized identification card.
The discharge form contains an individual's Social Security number, something most veterans didn't want to pass around.
The bill introduced last year by Reps. Todd Akin, R-Mo., and Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, both Army veterans, allowed for the issuance of photo identification cards to veterans who are not retirees or are not receiving VA benefits.
"I think the cards are a great idea," said VFW Post No. 1770 Vice Commander Dennis James. "We have a lot of young veterans coming back from Afghanistan. Any thing we can do to help them is a positive thing."
Holley said the state lists 1,200 military veterans in Glenn County, but she believes the numbers are higher.
Many veterans are being returned in greater numbers to Glenn County from the war in Afghanistan due to federal cuts to the military.
Most often, they are returning home with no prospects for employment, she said.
Holley hopes the cards will at least provide them with the discounts on goods, meals and services that are traditionally afforded veterans.
The Glenn County Veterans Service Office will be open from 10 a.m. to noon Jan 8-10. to issue the cards.
Veterans must bring their military DD 214 Report of Separation with them to be eligible, Holley said.