Those who have served this country in the armed forces already face many challenges when returning from abroad—whether it’s Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, getting readjusted to civilian life, or dealing with injuries. So it can be disheartening when services and benefits aren’t readily accessible because they can’t prove that they are, in fact, military veterans. But effective immediately—through an executive order signed by Governor McDonnell—they now have one less burden to face when using the Virginia Veterans ID card.
This card is the brainchild of Department of Veterans Services Commissioner Paul Galanti and Delegate Richard Anderson. As Galanti explains, veterans who have the documentation indicating their discharge status—with the exception of a dishonorable discharge—can pay a 10-dollar fee at a DMV-affiliated outlet, and apply for the new card.
“There are a lot of merchants who give good deal–discounts for veterans but if he didn’t retire from the military or doesn’t have a VA rating, he doesn’t have an ID card that says that. So this is just one way Virginia can help veterans get all the good things our citizens want to throw at them,” said Galanti.
Unlike a driver’s license, the Veterans ID card never expires. Those who apply will receive a temporary card immediately, and should receive the permanent card in the mail within a week. Currently, 70-percent of the state’s retail merchants offer veterans’ discounts, and several retail associations say they are aggressively recruiting the remaining merchants to follow suit.