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  • Pacific Island Times Staff

Confusion mars veteran ID application

ID card is key to online exchange shopping for all vets

U.S. vets seeking care at the Guam Community Based Outpatient Clinic already have picture ids documenting their service

Starting Nov. 11, all U.S. military veterans who were honorably discharged will be able to shop online at military exchange stores, by federal law, assuming they can provide proper identification, according to a report by the website,

While this likely sounds good to veterans, they're going to have to figure out how to navigate requirements for how to gain this benefit.

A 2015 federal law requires the Veterans Administration to issue a hard-copy photo ID to any honorably discharged veteran who applies. The card must contain the veteran's name, photo and a non-Social Security identification number, according to the law.

The VA says the cards are expected to be available nationwide starting in November, but the details are elusive. Vets may apply for the card online, but a timeline for how long it will take hasn't been released. So far, there's no word on the website address or what information would need to be provided by the vet or even whether a fee will be charged for the card.

In an apparent contradiction, also says that veterans who wish to use that new benefit must be verified through given that many former military members already have photo ID cards documenting their service. Those who receive health care from the VA or have a disability rating can get a photo ID VA health card, also known as a Veteran Health Identification Card. Military retirees also hold an ID card issued by the Defense Department. Veterans are also able to get a proof of service letter through the VA's benefits website. And some states will include a veteran designation on driver's licenses if requested.

[Testing the VetVerify system, a Pacific Island Times reporter who has a honorable DD214 discharge paper and a VA health card ID sought verification, but was turned down by the website, which said it could not find his records. Instructions on the site said veterans would be prompted to submit documents supporting their service, but this did not prove to be the case.]

Language in the law reads:

"Goods, services and promotional activities are often offered by public and private institutions to veterans who demonstrate proof of service in the military, but it is impractical for a veteran to always carry Department of Defense form DD-214 discharge papers to demonstrate such proof."


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