Recorder pushing for veteran’s ID and discount

Chester County Recorder of Deeds Rick Loughery is looking to help U.S. military veterans in the county. Loughery is setting up a program in which vets can register their military separation papers — DD 214 — with his office in exchange for a veteran’s photo ID card. That card, he hopes, will get the veterans discounts at participating businesses.

Loughery, the first term recorder in his first year of office, said the Veterans ID & Discount Program has already begun in Bucks and Montgomery counties and that Berks and Lancaster counties are getting on board. His office will start issuing cards on Sept. 10.

The program is transportable. Loughery said the cards are valid in any participating store in any participating county.

He is asking townships and municipalities to get the message out to businesses in their jurisdictions to take part in offering discounts to veterans who have the cards. Participation is totally voluntary for both vets and business owners.

Loughery said there is a need for a veteran’s ID card.

“Most veterans don’t have a photo ID that signifies them as a veteran,” he said. “Those who are active in the VA program, some have a VA card. Otherwise, they only have their DD 214 discharge form, and that’s not photo ID and it’s cumbersome to carry around. So that’s how this came up.

Loughery characterizes the program as a “community service” for the vets, but added that it’s “nice for the veteran to say, ‘I’m a veteran and here’s my proof.’”

Businesses that choose to participate can go to the Recorder of Deeds office or make application on line at chesco.org/recorder. Participation is for a year with an automatic renewal for the businesses. There’s no expiration date for the veteran’s ID.

Earlier in June, Loughery sent out a letter to municipal and county officials, as well as various chambers of commerce in the county to get the word out to businesses.

Businesses will get window decals signifying participation.

-- By Rich Schwartzman

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