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Demand causes Veteran ID card crash

New Town News - 1/6/2018

Two years ago, Congress voted to allow the Veterans Administration to issue new ID cards to veterans. Recently, the website to sign up for the cards went online but crashed due to the high demand from veterans.

It is no surprise the card is in high demand as it replaces the need to have to carry around cumbersome DD214 paperwork when applying for veteran's benefits. The card also allows veterans to take advantage of sales promotions at stores, restaurants and elsewhere.

VA Secretary, David Shulking sees a clear advantage for veterans.

"The new Veteran ID card provides a safer and more convenient, efficient way for veterans to show proof of service," he said.

Initially the card carried a fee to be paid by the veteran, but that is no longer true.

"Office Depot is donating the printing and shipping," Curt Cashour, a VA spokesman said.

The card contains the veteran's name, photo and ID number. The card should not be confused with veteran medical ID card. The new card is not a replacement for the medical ID card.

Any veteran who served in the armed forces, including reserves and has an honorable or general discharge can request the new ID card.

Looking out for older veterans, AARP issued their own statement. "The VA has temporarily halted the online application for the new ID cards after the website crash. Meanwhile veterans are asked to submit their email addresses to receive updates."

Bryan Watters, North Dakota Veteran Service Officer was not surprised about the crash. Speaking from his experience with technology, he understands what happens when it is taxed and so much demand occurs.

"This thing was put together two years ago and went on line a few weeks ago. The demand was high. Once we are past the initial rush the website service will likely improve. Right now there is no paper " "work around" but veterans may check with vets.gov website to get more information.

I recommend Veterans who are interested in this card contact their local CVSO for assistance. Their local Library is also an excellent resource to get access to the internet and Librarians can help them navigate the web. If the Veteran is retired from the military, they have a Military Retiree ID Card and they do not need this new card. I work at the state level and am not involved with the Federal VA so I do not have many answers. Based on my experience with any new thing with a high demand, there will be issues and delays. I am sure the VA is working on the issues as fast as they can," he said.

Watter's suggestion about contacting the local library was welcome news to Julie Herbel, New Town Librarian.

"Veterans are more than welcome to come in and use one of our eleven computers to apply. The ID card is a good thing and we will do everything in our power to help them," Herbel said.

Veterans should have a digital photo and a scanned digital copy of their DD214 to submit with their ID card request. The cards can be requested at https://www.vets.gov/veteran-id-card.


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