Being a veteran gives you a lot of benefits. From legal assistance to housing loans, education benefits to life insurance, it can pay to be a veteran.
However, in addition to all that, there are some fringe benefits to having served. Lots of stores will offer the famed “Military Discount,” and on Veterans’ Day, some restaurants like IHOP and Denny’s will even offer free meals to vets. However, you have to prove that you served—so unless you have a retiree card or make a habit of carrying around your DD-214, that Rooty Tooty Fresh-n-Fruity is on you.
Fortunately, the VA is going to be making this process much easier. Starting in November, they will offer Veteran Identification Cards, or VICs, to eligible veterans. Currently, only vets who receive VA health care or retirement pay have issued ID cards. Thanks to the Veterans Identification Card Act passed in 2015, the VA will now have to issue the cards to any honorably discharged service member.
As justification, the law states that, “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.”
According to an interview done by the Military Times, a VA official said the cards will be available free of charge, and vets can apply for on online. However, they did not say anything about how long it would take to receive the cards. To apply, veterans will need to go to a VA facility and, once their service is verified, get a picture taken. The card will then be mailed.