Veterans can apply for identification card

Submitted by Pine County VSO Be Wiener

What is a Veteran Identification Card (VIC) and how do I get one?

What is a Veterans Identification Card or Proof of Service Card and how do you get one?

The Veterans Identification Card Act 2015" (Public Law 114-31) was enacted on July 20, 2015.  The purpose of the Veteran Identification Card (VIC) is to serve as proof of service in the Armed Forces which can be used to obtain discounts on goods and services offered to Veterans.  

The VIC does not qualify Veterans for additional benefits administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and does not serve as proof for any benefits to which you may be entitled.  Also, the VIC will not grant access to military post or installations.  

VA will begin accepting applications for the VIC November 1, 2017.  For those who wish to obtain a VIC, Veterans should log into Vets.gov to apply.  If eligible, you will receive your ID card (at no cost to you) in the mail within 3 weeks.  For more information please go to:  https://www.vets.gov/# .  This is the only way to apply for the VIC, your medical center or regional office will not be able to assist you.  Questions regarding the new VIC can be directed to the Vets.gov Help Desk 1-855-574-7286 TTY: 1-800-877-8339  Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. (ET)

The VA identification card, once available will allow Veterans to demonstrate proof of service for discounts at private restaurants and businesses.

It should be noted that the identification card is different from a Veteran Health Identification card or a DoD Uniformed Services or retiree ID card. As such, the VA identification cards cannot be used as proof of eligibility to any federal benefits and does not grant access to military installations.

photo by Ailene Croup for PiCK News

Veterans, HCS share

in generous donation

by Ailene Croup for PiCK News March 26, 2018
Harvest Christian School’s (HCS) collection of household items and clothing from their annual fall farm auction was donated to the area’s Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 4, and brought a twofold return.
Through a partnership with Savers Thrift Stores, the DAV shared the profit from the donated the items.
The Veteran’s Cash for Clothes program splits the profit with the donating group.
A check for $964.75 was presented to Ruth Carlson for HCS by DAV Chapter 4's former commander, Ray Youngberg. The DAV and Harvest Christian School received the same amount.
For those who wish to support veterans with clothing donations, the DAV also has bins around Pine County where clothing can be dropped off.

Serving Veterans at home

by A. Croup for PiCK News
   When the 4th of July rolls around, it's great to see how communities get involved in supporting those who have helped us maintain our independence and freedom.
   American Building Contractors, Inc. (ABC) project manager, Jeff Dawson, of Mora, Minn., just completed a project where the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) has worked to keep our military and their service in the forefront.
   ABC began working on Jonathan Bernal's home, in Oakdale, Minn., late in June. The work was completed at no charge.
Just recently, Bernal was declared 100 percent disabled and was finally approved for benefits after a  seven-year struggle.
   He was injured in Iraq in 2008 and has been unable to work. Getting the medical treatment he needed has been a problem for this veteran.  "It is wait, wait, wait," he said.
   In the meantime, his home was in need of expensive repairs. He had to find a way to get the deteriorated siding replaced on his home before it caused bigger problems. It wasn't something his family could afford.

   There was no help from the government for a project such as Bernal's.
   He contacted the veteran's support group, Operation Homefront (OH), headquartered in San Antonio, Texas.

   OH is armed with volunteers and employees and supported by corporate donors, individual donors and partner organizations to serve veterans. They provide everything from food, utilities, home repairs, rent and mortgage payments, rent-free transitional housing for wounded veterans to mortgage-free homes, baby showers, holiday programs and school backpacks for military kids.
   They put Bernal in touch with 'A Brush With Kindness' (ABWK) which is Habitat for Humanity's home repair program.
   ABWK helps homeowners who are living in their homes full time in unsafe living conditions and are forced to choose between food, medicine, taxes, utilities and home maintenance. That's where BATC and ABC got involved.
   Dawson said the materials to reside Bernal's home were provided by Lyman Lumber and ABC provided all the labor. There was no "hurry up and wait" on this project. Four days later it was complete.
   BATC does several of these projects each year, Dawson added.

photos by A. Croup for PiCK News

Thanks to materials provided by Lyman Lumber and labor provided by ABC, the Bernal's were able to get new siding on their home in Oakdale, Minn.

photo by Jeff Dawson

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