Last updated: March 09. 2014 7:25PM - 2293 Views
By Stacy Kess skess@civitasmedia.com

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American military veterans filed in to the Delaware County Recorder’s office Saturday to purchase a new ID card.

The recorder’s office began offering United States Veteran Document Identification Card Saturday as an alternative to carrying a copy of DD214 paperwork for veterans wishing to obtain benefits offered by the county to veterans.

“It’s nice to see: when you’ve worked hard at something that will hopefully benefit a lot of people,” said Harold Wolford, a Vietnam veteran who championed the idea. “This is for the good of the community.”

Wolford brought the idea to the county a year ago as a way to give veterans an alternative to carrying papers and an easier way to identify themselves as veterans. Veteran ID cards look similar to a driver’s license, but reference a copy of the DD214 is kept on file at the county recorders office.

“(Harold) actually planted the seed,” said County Commissioner Gary Merrell. “Then (County Recorder Melissa Jordan) came in, but he started us down this road.”

About a year and a half ago, Jordan was discussing the same idea at a Recorder’s Association meeting.

“For us, we have a small budget,” she said. “At the time, it was cost prohibitive.”

The costs came in the form of software and a printer like those that make driver’s licenses. She said vendors who sell the products saw Ohio counties were interested in issuing veteran IDs and began offering discounts that made the program viable.

“I was able to offer this program without increasing my budget at all,” Jordan said.

She was also able to make it affordable to veterans: the card costs $1, and Jordan’s office is working to create an escrow account so low-income and homeless veterans unable to afford the fee can also receive an ID card.

“We wanted to make this accessible,” she said. “We really need to honor (veterans), and there’s no way to repay them.”

She said the ID is a start. Jordan scheduled the first day cards could be issued as Saturday because she said it would make the process accessible to those veterans who may work during her office’s regular hours. She said some veterans showed up an hour early to get ready and veterans began filing a copy of their DD214 with the office earlier in the week.

With good weather, many older veterans showed up for the inaugural day as well. Jordan said she was glad to see the World War II veterans that came to get their card.

“They’re a dying breed and we owe them such a debt of gratitude,” she said. “It’s really a community coming together.”

Jordan said her office will continue to offer the IDs during regular business hours at the Hayes Building, 140 N. Sandusky St., 1st Floor.

To get the ID, veterans file their DD214 with the Recorder’s Office by bringing in the original or a certified copy from the Veterans Services Commission. Filing the DD214 with the recorder’s office is free. Veterans can then get the ID card by presenting two forms of ID. The ID includes address, birth date, years of service, branch of military and references that the DD214 is on file with the Recorder’s Office. An ID photo is taken at the Recorder’s Office.

The ID can be used for proof of military service, documentation for veteran’s benefits such as home and student loans, health benefits and other services, veteran’s discounts at some retail and commercial businesses, and to obtain duplicate copies of the DD214 from the Recorder’s Office.

For more information, call 740-833-2460 or 740-833-2460, or visit www.co.delaware.oh.us/recorder.

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