Friday, September 4, 2015

Veteran's I.D. Card-VA Answer To Question

Some of you may be aware of the bill H.R. 91 The Veteran's I.D. Card Act of 2015. This bill was passed by the House and the Senate and signed by President Obama becoming Public Law 114-31
on 07/20/2015.

This directs the Department of Veterans Affairs to issue a VA ID card to those veterans who did
not retire from our Armed Forces, nor are they enrolled in the VA Health Care System.

This is a simple ID Card, it does not entitle the bearer to VA benefits. It would be an easy way
for someone to prove that they are indeed a Veteran.

There are many business and enterprises that offer discounts to Active Duty and Veterans. For those
not covered by the retired/VA proof is usually a DD-214 which carry some information that many
do not want made public. So this ID Card is perfect, an official US Government issued method
of identification and verification of being a Veteran.

The bill as written said that within 60 the VA could begin to issue these cards.  More information can
be found in earlier posts, scroll down for that info.

I contacted the VA and questioned when the cards would be issued. Here is the response from the VA.
Recently you requested assistance from VA. Below is our response.

If you wish to reopen this issue, you may do so within the next 14 days.

Thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.
Response By Email (Dept of Veterans Affairs) (09/02/2015 02:45 PM)
While VA intends to issue Veteran ID cards to all veterans in the near future,we await more information and instructions on the issuance of these cards. At present, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a Veterans Identification Card (VIC) for veterans to use at VA medical facilities. The VIC is issued only to veterans who are eligible for VA medical benefits and only for the purpose of identification and check-in for VA medical appointments. The card protects personal privacy by not showing Social Security Numbers or dates of birth on the front of the cards.

VA has Service Connected, POW and Purple Heart (PH) indicators on the new VIC. Veterans who have been awarded service-connected status after their VIC has been issued or SC status is not properly documented on their card, will need to present their letter showing their SC rating to the eligibility clerk at the local VA Medical Center where they obtain treatment. After verification, the eligibility clerk will submit a request to National Card Management Directory (NCMD) System for a new card to be issued to the veteran.

Once a veteran has his/her picture taken for the new card at the VA medical facility, the card will be mailed to the veteran at the address that has been provided. To ensure that a veteran receives the new VIC card, the veteran should please verify that VA has the correct address on file. If the U.S. Postal Service cannot deliver the card, it will be returned to the facility at which the card was requested. The card will then be held in a secure location at the facility for 90 days. If the card is not picked up within the 90-day period, the card will be destroyed.

With regard to the use of veteran ID cards for store discounts, please note: If these are valid store discounts for Veterans, a Veteran's DD-214 and a driver's license or non-driver's license should be appropriate. The VIC is the only ID card offered for veterans by VA; if a store will not accept this proof of veteran status, please check with your State's division of Veterans Affairs to see if they offer this service.


For all information about Veterans Identification Cards (what it is, how to get one, what to do if lost or stolen, when it can be used, etc.) go tohttp://www.va.gov/healthbenefits/vhic/ for details.












So it looks like the usual VA waiting game. I am guessing another 4 to 5 months. Remember the VFW was against this while the bill was in progress; and the VA seemed not to be in favor of it either.

---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman Emeritus American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Saturday, August 29, 2015

New York Veterans To Receive Refund For Drivers License/State ID Card


New York Veterans who had the "Veterans" designation put on their Drivers License/State ID card will receive a
 rebate from the state.
When the "Veteran" designation was first available to be put on the drivers license/ID card on or
after Oct. 3, 2012 the state charged veterans
a fee of $12.50 for the "privilege" of having this included on the license/ID card.

Gov. Cuomo signed the bill in early August, but it has not yet taken effect. It is expected
 to be enacted soon.

The refunds will go to 10,834 veterans with an amount totaling $134,030. Those veterans
who paid the fee will not have to do anything
further, the Department of Motor Vehicles will issue the refunds automatically.

Thank you New York for doing the proper thing for our Veterans, the original fee
should never have been charged to begin with. Veterans
have given more than their fair share, and deserve the recognition and respect they have earned.



---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman Emeritus American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Pennsylvania District To Honor Cold War Veterans

In Pennsylvania, State Representative Martin Causer (R-Turtlepoint) has announced plans to Honor
Cold War Veterans from the 67th Legislative District; including Cameron, McKean, and Potter counties. If you live in this area you are invited to attend the ceremony. Contact information is
listed below, I hope all Cold War Veterans in the area join in the occasion.

Little things like this add up and it is a step in the right direction. Now if we could only grow this to a National level and have Congress take notice and stand up for Cold War Veterans.

It is the hope of the American Cold War Veterans to have the Cold War Service Medal issued to those who served during this long struggle to contain Communism, which we did do. Also in the future
plans are to have a Cold War Memorial built in Washington, DC


“The Cold War was a prolonged and very trying time in our nation’s history,” Causer said. “The men and women who served during this time played a vital role in preventing the spread of communism and preserving our democracy. They are certainly deserving of our thanks and appreciation.”
Causer is inviting veterans who served between Sept. 2, 1945, and Dec. 26, 1991, to take part in a recognition ceremony in Bradford this fall. To participate in the ceremony, veterans are asked to register by contacting Causer’s offices in Bradford (814-362-4400), Coudersport (814-274-9769) or Kane (814-837-0880), or sign up online at www.Rep.Causer.com.
The information requested will include the veteran’s name, address, contact information, branch of the armed services in which they served, rank and time of service. Widows or widowers of deceased service members are also invited to participate in the ceremony.
The event is open to all veterans residing in the 67th Legislative District, which includes Cameron, McKean and Potter counties, as well as their family members. Everyone who registers will be contacted with information about the ceremony when it is scheduled.
Causer previously hosted events to honor veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He plans to honor veterans who served in the Persian Gulf conflict and other subsequent operations in the future.

---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman Emeritus American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Friday, July 31, 2015

Now That Congress Is in Recess


The month of August is here, that means that Congress is in recess for the month; and everyone is back in their home state.

Now is the time to call the local office, closest to you, of your elected official. Ask for a meeting with said official. A chance to look them in the eye and present your case. Get your facts together first, then
put it on the table. 

Be polite, courteous and smile. Then discuss Veterans issues...VA problems, maybe your experience with VA; other general concerns about our Armed Forces and Veterans, our US Military and the budget crisis.

Then....ask your Representative to cosponsor H.R. 2067 The Cold War Service Medal Act of 2015 and be sure to vote for passage when it reaches the floor for a vote.

Ask BOTH of your Senators to introduce an identical bill in the Senate. We need it on both sides to gain any traction. It is too late to have it included in the NDAA, so stand alone bills from the House and the Senate have to happen.

If anyone seems a little wishy-washy about it ASK THEM WHY NOT. 

Also ask for an investigation into the USS LIberty and the coverup. There has never been an official Congressional investigation into the murder of 34 Americans and wounding of another 174. 
An attack by the IDF (Israel Defense Force) on a clearly marked American
ship; practically unarmed,  with the purpose of killing all onboard and sinking the ship.

We as Cold War Veterans have been waiting since 1991 for recognition, it is time. The USS Liberty 
Veterans have been waiting since 1967 to get the truth, to finally know the why and the who.

DoD did have a very quick and brief investigation and called it a case of "mistaken identity."
The huge America Flag flying from the mast, and the big hull numbers on the side meant 
nothing to those who attacked the Liberty.

Write the letters, send the faxes, send the emails, make the phone calls, make the visits;  do it often.

Remember that you can visit or call the local office anytime. You can call the DC office and
ask to speak to their Veterans/Military aide and tell them what you want them to know.



---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman Emeritus American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Friday, July 24, 2015

Peace Cross Bladensburg, MD

The battle to save the Bladensburg Cross is still going on.

The Bladensburg Cross was dedicated in 1925 to honor 49 men from Prince George's County
that perished in WWI. The Memorial was funded by local residents and The American Legion.
It is now owned by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

The Memorial is listed as a nomination on the National Register of Historic Places by the
Prince George's County Historic Preservation Committee in April 2015.  The Peace Cross
is listed as an Historic Place, but is not yet listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The American Humanist Association and three individuals filed a lawsuit in 2014 asking that
the Memorial be removed because of its implied religious nature as a Christian symbol, thus
violating their Constitutional rights. The Cross is located on property owned by the State
of Maryland; and the plaintiffs said it goes against the First Amendment.

A very brave woman Renee Green is spearheading the effort to save the Memorial. In an
interview she said "In order for people to make a decision, they had to know the history.
They have to understand it." Green went on to say "It's a WWI Memorial dedicated to the
49 men who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. It represents peace."

In January 2015 Renee Green submitted another application for the Memorial Peace
Cross to be nominated to the National Register and it was accepted.

Although the Memorial's application has been accepted this does not stop the lawsuit, so
it will continue to drag out for some time.

More information can be found at www.savethepeacecross.com
There is also an official Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Save-The-Peace-Cross/1539886132901090

Our Veterans should never have a Memorial or Monument that is dedicated to those who served
our country moved or violated in any manner. Those who served did so at the risk of
their lives, and so many did give their lives to protect our Nation.

---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman Emeritus American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Mt. Soledad Cross Memorial Saved

This should be an end to the long and costly fight to save the Mt. Soledad Cross.

The Mt. Soledad Memorial Association purchased the land where the Cross is located from
the Department of Defense to save the 43 foot cross that had been erected in 1954.

The battle began in the late 1980s, when the ACLU and the Jewish War Veterans sued to have
the cross removed; saying that it was against their constitutional rights. Claiming it violated the
separation of Church and State.

It is not proper that the Association should have been forced to purchase the land from the
government.

Preserving this monument which is a tribute to all fallen members of our Armed
Forces, which is part of a larger memorial with over 3,700 plaques honoring veterans of
various wars.

At a price of $1.4 million the land consists of one-half acre that surrounds the Cross it seems
like a very costly venture, but one that is well deserved to honor our fallen veterans.

California Representative Duncan Hunter and Senator Dianne Feinstein were instrumental
in writing and the passage of legislation that made this possible.

In a related attack on a memorial, in 2012 a court ruled that the Mohave Desert Cross owned
by the National Parks Service could be sold to the VFW. The VFW will maintain the Cross.

All our nation's veterans should hail this victory and the ensured safety of another Memorial
to our fallen brothers and sisters.

---- Jerald Terwilliger Chairman Emeritus,  American Cold War Veterans "We Remember" ---------------- "And so the greatest of American triumphs... became a peculiarly joyless victory. We had won the Cold War, but there would be no parades." -- Robert M. Gates, 1996