Editor’s Note: This article by Amy Bushatz originally appeared on Military.com, the premier source of information for the military and veteran community.
Identification cards from the Department of Veterans Affairs' new program will be in the mail, on their way to veterans starting "tomorrow," VA officials said — two months after they were initially scheduled to go out.
Officials said in January that approved veterans would start receiving the free printed cards in early March. But when March rolled around, printing was delayed to April. Now, a VA spokesman says the cards will be sent starting May 4.
"We expect to begin mailing cards in batches tomorrow to veterans whose applications have been reviewed and approved," Curtis Cashour told Military.com on May 3.
All honorably discharged veterans can apply for the ID card, which was ordered by Congress in 2015. The card, which is not an official form of federal ID and does not qualify veterans for any federal or military benefits, is meant to serve as proof of past military service at private businesses.
Veterans who hold other identification showing service, such as a military ID or VA health ID card, do not need to apply.
The veteran ID card program has faced a series of delays and technical challenge since its November 2017 launch. A glut of applicants overwhelmed the system's server, and the application was put on hold for several weeks.
Benjamin Franklin nailed it when he said, "Fatigue is the best pillow." True story, Benny. There's nothing like pushing your body so far past exhaustion that you'd willingly, even longingly, take a nap on a concrete slab.
Coast Guard cutter Bertholf on a counterdrug patrol in the eastern Pacific Ocean, March 11, 2018. (U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Trees
U.S. Coast Guard cutter Bertholf left California on January 20 for a months-long mission in the Pacific to support U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, the largest of the U.S. military's geographic combatant commands.
Coast Guardsmen aboard the Bertholf left Alameda on the 30th day of what is now the longest government shutdown in U.S. history. They left a few days after not getting their first paycheck since that shutdown started and without knowing when the next will come.