Commentary: When is a veteran not a veteran

November 18, 2013 

The current Veterans Administration policy concerning benefits and ID cards does not seem fair to all “veterans.” If your income is too high and you are not disabled you cannot even get a veterans identity card. I am sure others have been faced with this problem.

I knew I was not eligible for any disability benefits and was not requesting any. All I Wanted was a VA ID card for ”proof of service.”

II felt I had met the requirements to be a veteran. I had a tour (1951-1955) of duty in the regular U.S. Air Force and a tour (1955-1958) in the USAF reserves, with honorable discharges from both. I would have been eligible for benefits and an ID if i had applied by 2003.

I am often asked if I am a veteran by merchants and if i have any identification to receive their specials, discounts etc.

When I registered for the draft in 1950 and enlisted in the Air Force, they didn't ask me about my income, but when I applied for a VA ID card in 2013 they asked and said my income is too high and refused to issue one. The veterans administration needs to rectify this situation. Does income make you a non-veteran?

I did some further checking and found out that the South Carolina DMV will put “veteran” on your SC drivers’ license if you have proper support, a DD 214 form or a certificate of service. ( Go to www.scdmv.gov.)

I guess until I get to the DMV, I will have to carry my DD 214 and wear my good conduct medal to “support my proof of service veteran status” when asked.

Donald Ollis lives in Myrtle Beach.

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