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After A False Start, The VA’s Vet ID System Finally Works
Late last year, the Department of Veterans Affairs announced that it would officially launch the veteran ID card program Nov. 29. Gone would be the days of stuffing a laminated DD-214 into your back pocket before scoring hardware discounts at Home Depot discounts or free grub from Applebees on Veterans Day. Finally, there’d be proof of one’s service in the form of a glossy white ID card.
At least, that was the hope. Instead, the Nov. 29 rollout of the program was fraught with problems. Many applicants — including seven vets at Task & Purpose who tested the application system — reported broken links or error messages. Though the Veteran ID card application page has remained online since it launched, vets who were unable to complete the process were asked to leave their email address with the department, which would get back to the applicants at a later time. More than 136,000 Veterans provided their emails and 1,145 submitted help-desk tickets due to errors, Curt Cashour, the press secretary for the Department of Veterans Affairs told Task & Purpose.
As of Jan. 29, Veterans can once again again submit online applications online, and this time — the applications actually go through. Several T&P; staffers successfully ran through the application process, and barring one case where a veteran’s photo was inverted, it seemed to work fine.
“We are excited finally to begin providing this resource to Veterans, fulfilling a promise that was made to them more than two years ago under the previous Administration, which never followed through on it,” Cashour told Task & Purpose on Jan. 30. (That last line about following through is an apparent reference to the 2015 Veterans Identification Card Act, a bipartisan effort between Congress and then-President Barack Obama to get vets a hard-copy photo ID.)
All veterans with an honorable or general discharge can request the new ID cards. Keep in mind, they don’t replace VA medical cards or defense retiree cards, nor are they official government-issued forms of identification — so you can’t use it to board a plane, or by booze. But, they are handy for when you’re in a checkout line and spot a “10% off for veterans” discount sign.
But as of Jan. 30, the VA has received and begun processing 16,179 applications, and vets can expect to receive the printed IDs come March, Cashour told Task & Purpose. In the meantime, those with an approved application can download the image of their ID card from the website, and either print it out, or show it on on a mobile phone, to get those sweet patriot prices.
UPDATE: This story was updated to include details on the number of help-desk tickets opened due to errors during the Veterans ID card application rollout. (1/30/2018; 1:55 pm)
Police arrest suspected terrorist for 1985 hijacking in which Navy diver Robert D. Stethem was murdered
ATHENS (Reuters) - Greek police have arrested a 65-year-old Lebanese man suspected of involvement in the 1985 hijacking of a Trans World Airlines (TWA) plane in which a U.S. navy diver was killed.
A Greek police official said on Saturday the suspect had disembarked from a cruise ship on the island of Mykonos on Thursday and that his name came up as being wanted by German authorities.
The last time the world saw Marine veteran Austin Tice, he had been taken prisoner by armed men. It was unclear whether his captors were jihadists or allies of Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad who were disguised as Islamic radicals.
Blindfolded and nearly out of breath, Tice spoke in Arabic before breaking into English:"Oh Jesus. Oh Jesus."
That was from a video posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, 2012, several weeks after Tice went missing near Damascus, Syria, while working as a freelance journalist for McClatchy and the Washington Post.
Now that Tice has been held in captivity for more than seven years, reporters who have regular access to President Donald Trump need to start asking him how he is going to bring Tice home.
SAN DIEGO — John Timothy Earnest didn't hide his smirks as he sat in a San Diego courtroom on Thursday, watching surveillance video of Lori Gilbert-Kaye being shot down inside the lobby of a Poway synagogue.
Earnest also smiled as a synagogue congregant testified about running toward the shooter, screaming "I'm going to kill you!" and seeing the gunman "with a look of astonishment or fear" turn and run.
Earnest, 20, is facing one count of murder and three counts of attempted murder in the shootings at Chabad of Poway on April 27. He also faces an arson charge related to an Escondido mosque fire in March, when several people who were sleeping inside escaped unharmed.
Sometimes a joke just doesn't work.
For example, the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service tweeted and subsequently deleted a Gilbert Gottfried-esque misfire about the "Storm Area 51" movement.
On Friday DVIDSHUB tweeted a picture of a B-2 bomber on the flight line with a formation of airmen in front of it along with the caption: "The last thing #Millenials will see if they attempt the #area51raid today."
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a "safe zone" in northeast Syria this month.
"Our preparations along our borders are complete," Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on Saturday before departing to attend a U.N. General Assembly meeting.