Today is Veterans day. A day set aside to say “Thank You” and to Honor all U.S Military Service Men and Women. So I want to take a moment to Thank all the Active Duty and Prior Service Members who have served the people of this great nation. I am proud of you and Thank You with all my heart.
As a Veteran myself, (8 years in the Navy and served during the first Gulf war) I take Veterans Day and Memorial Day very seriously. This county would not exist if not for all the brave men and women of the U.S. Military. Some gave the ultimate sacrifice, never coming home. Some some home with some horrific wounds. Some come home with no physical wounds but with emotional would that may never heal. We need to make sure that their sacrifices are never forgotten and we need to make sure they know that their sacrifices are remembered and appropriated.
As a country we do a good job of remembering the Active Duty, Retired, and injured military members. (We can always do better however). But there is a set of Veterans that we seem to forget. Those veterans are Military members who enlist for 4, 8, or however many years, do their time, serve their country with honor, receive an Honorable discharge and go one with their life. These Veterans sign the same paperwork the others do. Are willing to give their lives for their country if required. And spend many, many, months away from heir family. We do not thank them enough. We see “Thanks to our Active Duty and Retired Military Member” or “Discounts for Active Duty and Retired Military” all over the place but we leave the Honorably discharged military out. These people, and their family’s, made sacrifices for you and me also. We should show them the respect they deserve, also.
I know it can be difficult to give these Veterans discounts or free dinners at Restaurants on Veterans Day because the Federal Government doesn’t issue a “Veteran” ID card. Only Retired and Active Duty members get ID cards. There are ways to give these Veterans the recognition and discounts they deserve.
Show your DD-214
The Military Discharge papers are call Form DD-214. This is an 8.5in X 11in piece of paper that states what type of discharge the Service Member received. If they received an honorable, Other than Honorable, or Dishonorable discharge it will say on it. This Paper is difficult for people to carry around and most don’t and even if they do very few people outside of the Military know what a DD-214 is.
State Drivers License
Some states issue Drivers’ Licenses that indicate that the person is a Veteran. Georgia is such a state. Georgia has established the Georgia Department of Veterans Services. If you are a Georgia Resident you can take your DD-214 to one of their offices and the will verify your prior service and issue you a DS-516. You can take this form to the Department Of Drivers Services and they will issue you a license with VETERAN listed on it. There are many placed in Georgia that will give discounts if you show this ID but it is not widely known and many placed won’t give any discounts because they don’t know what they are being shown. Here’s and example.
New Veterans ID Cards
Recently the Federal Government passed a law allowing the Veterans Administration to issue ID cards to Veterans. HERE is an article on the new law. As of this writing they have not started issuing these ID cards and I do not know when they will or what the process will be to get them. As soon as I know i will update this post so please keep checking back.
If you are a a Veteran and you do not know about the programs in your state please look into them. If you are a business owner who gives discounts to Active Duty and Retired Military Members please remember that there is another set of Veterans that you are excluding and learn about how to recognize them and confirm their service and give them the discount. They deserve it too.
Please share this with all the Veterans and business owners you know. Lets get the word out so ALL Veterans can get the recognition they deserve.