(Crystal A. Proxmire, The Ferndale 115 News, May 15th, 2012 edition)
Frank Flores was so excited about a new Oakland County program that he had to come down to the City Council meeting and tell everybody about it. Flores is a Veteran of the Vietnam Era, having served in the US Marines. Now he is one of Ferndale’s most out-spoken Veteran’s advocates, representing the American Legion at many local events.
The new program that has Flores excited is the Oakland County Veteran’s ID Card. For just $10 a vet can get a plastic identification card indicating that they served in the military. Before the ID cards, vets would be required to show their DD214 paperwork and state-issued identification or driver’s license to take advantage of services for veterans, including government programs and store discounts.
The DD214 is the veteran’s discharge paperwork, a copy of which is filed with the County Clerk. Previously vets would keep paper copies in their wallets where they would potentially get destroyed. Or they might keep them at home and be inconvenienced by not having it on them.
“This is a big deal for vets,” Flores said. “Anything we can do to make it easier for the vets, and for the Clerk, is a big help.”
Flores lives in Warren, but is a Ferndale guy at heart, having lived in the area much of his life. He already has a similar card, issued by Macomb County who implemented the program before Oakland County did.
The Oakland County Board of Commissioners approved the program earlier this year, with the $10 fee covering the cost of the service. The equipment used to make the Veteran’s cards is also used to make concealed pistol licenses.
Find out more about the Veterans Card program at http://www.oakgov.com/clerkrod/vitalrecords/military_discharge.html.
The Military Wallet is a website that tracks businesses that are offering discounts to vet. Check them out at http://themilitarywallet.com/veterans-day-free-meals-and-discounts/.