By Debbie Gregory.
Congress has approved a measure sponsored by Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla that offers veteran ID cards to honorably discharged service members. The cards would be an easier way to prove military service.
The Veterans ID Card Act (H.R. 91), passed through the Senate and House without objection, but took several years to get through Congress. The Obama administration has expressed reservations about the need for the new IDs, but has not threatened to veto the legislation.
While the cards won’t replace medical IDs or official defense retiree IDs for veterans, and can’t be used as proof of service for employment purposes, or for eligibility to obtain federal benefits, they will make it easier to reap some of the benefits afforded to those who have served.
It is a simple move to honor the sacrifice and service of veterans, and saves them from having to carry around discharge paperwork. Besides being cumbersome, it can be unsafe, given the personal information included on those official documents.
“This legislation will assist veterans in proving that they are indeed veterans,” said Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif. “The majority of service members leave before retirement … and are sometimes challenged to provide proof of their honorable service. This is a simple way to resolve this issue.”
Veterans requesting the IDs would have to pay a small fee, to be determined by Veterans Affairs officials. That fee would cover the cost of the program.
The measure heads to the White House to be signed into law. No time frame has been established for when the first ID cards might be issued.
It will be interesting to see just how many veterans actually request the card. Perhaps the ease of verification might make more businesses want to offer a discount as a way of saying, “Thank you for your service.”
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Making Proof of Service Easier: Military Connection: by Debbie Gregory