Veterans can now register online for an identification letter to take advantage of benefits offered by merchants and other organizations.
New cards will be issued by Veterans Affairs in the near future but this is one of a couple options for veterans to use in the meantime.
The rollout of a new card later this month is the result of legislation Congress passed in 2015 to make it easier for veterans to receive things such as discounts at stores and restaurants.
These new cards allow individuals that did not retire nor have a medical identification card to have something to verify their service rather than their discharge papers. Most organizations will accept the form DD214 as proof of service but rather than carrying around the valuable paper that contains personal information regarding one’s service, the new card can be carried anywhere and used for the same benefits.
The card can be downloaded after veterans complete the online identification and verification process here https://www.ebenefits.va.gov/ebenefits/homepage. It is designed to be folded in half and laminated.
Service has to be verified through the process to receive the card that will have a Department of Defense number assigned to it. The website also has information on other benefits veterans are entitled to use but the card cannot be used to enter military facilities or military stores.
“I’ve had a ton of veterans ask about a card that they could use to take advantage of the benefits offered by businesses,” Veterans Affairs Officer Bob Johnson said today. “There was no way they could prove they were a veteran unless they had their DD214.”
Some retailers have automatic discounts to honor veterans but require verification from veterans before allowing the discounts or other benefits. “If it’s Veterans Day or something and say they go into Applebees for a free meal, now they can have a card to prove they are veterans,” Johnson said.
Here is a clarification on the cards being issued.