The Department of Veterans Affairs has launched a new welcome kit for Veterans to help them use the VA benefits and services they have earned. The kit, created by the Veterans Experience Office, is now available on www.Vets.gov and will soon be sent to all separating Servicemembers as part of VA’s existing “welcome home” process.
Congratulations to new IAM Local 4 members at Charlotte Hall Veterans Home (HMR of Maryland) who came together to ratify their first agreement.
IAM Local 4 members fought hard to get an agreement. Members braved the cold weather to protest previous substandard offers from the company. The members stood in solidarity during this long process and got a contract with generous increases in wages and benefits. This contract will allow members to continue to provide the best care possible for America’s veterans.
“This is a great victory for the IAM, the Territory, and District, Local 4,” said Eastern Territory General Vice President Jimmy Conigliaro Sr. “My congratulations to IAM Directing Business Representative Joseph Compher, IAM District 4 Business Representative Mark Duval, and a huge welcome to our members at the Charlotte Hall Veterans Home.”
“I am very proud of the Negotiations Committee who worked so hard and sat beside me for 10 months through some of the toughest negotiations I have ever been involved with,” said IAM District 4 Business Representative Mark Duval. “The committee knew what they wanted and would settle for nothing less. The committee refused to accept or recommend the company’s last and best offer, and with the help of many of the Local Lodges in District 4 stood out in the cold, on the front lawn of Charlotte Hall Veterans Home and demanded a fair contract.”
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VA has announced that the application process for the national Veterans Identification Card (VIC) is now available for Veterans — yet another action honoring their service.
This has been mandated through legislation since 2015 to honor Veterans, and today’s rollout of the ID card fulfills that overdue promise.
Only those Veterans with honorable service will be able to apply for the ID card, which will provide proof of military service, and may be accepted by retailers in lieu of the standard DD-214 form to obtain promotional discounts and other services where offered to Veterans.
“The new Veterans Identification Card provides a safer and more convenient and efficient way for most Veterans to show proof of service,” said VA secretary Dr. David J. Shulkin. “With the card, Veterans with honorable service to our nation will no longer need to carry around their paper DD-214s to obtain Veteran discounts and other services.”
The VIC provides a more portable and secure alternative for those who served the minimum obligated time in service, but did not meet the retirement or medical discharge threshold. Veterans who served in the armed forces, including the reserve components, and who have a discharge of honorable or general (under honorable conditions) can request a VIC.
Veterans who apply for a card should receive it within 60 days and can check delivery status of their cards at vets.gov. A digital version of the VIC will be available online by mid-December.