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Veterans Health Identification Card Required for Base Access in 2020

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    The Department of Defense recently announced new rules for access to Commissary, Military Service Exchange, and Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) locations, instituting a new policy that will require veterans who wish to take advantage of in-person benefits to have a Veterans Health Identification Card. Veterans primary care givers will be required to have an eligibility letter from VA’s Office of Community Care. The new rules will be effective Jan. 1, 2020.

    If you are a veteran who has not enrolled in the VA healthcare system yet then you can do so by filling out an application online or by telephone at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). You will need to complete your application and enroll if you want to have access to any "DoD and Coast Guard installations for in-person commissary, exchange, and MWR retail privileges" after January 1st.

    In order to complete your application, you will need to provide one form of the following documents: Primary Identification (Unexpired), State-Issued Driver’s License, United States Passport or Passport Card, Other Government ID. If your current address is not on your "proofing document" then you must provide one of the following: electric bill, cable bill, other mailing document, voters registration card.

    Once you complete your application and have your picture taken, you will receive your new VHID card in roughly ten days. That will give you access to any DoD and Coast Guard installation you are allowed into.

    Are there any vets that have gone through the process who are willing to chime in about how easy (or difficult) it was? I'm interested to see what you think about the new changes.

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    I'm not a veteran, but I can see why the changes came. There have been too many instances of unauthorized personnel entering bases, sometimes even with nefarious intentions. On a lighter note, this may actually streamline things for veterans at least in this respect. They have to go through enough troublesome red tape and paperwork as it is.
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    Interesting.. so what did they do before? Just any photo id or?
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    I'm a Retired Vet, and still to this day I access the Military Base using only my Retirement ID. Maybe the changes haven't affected this location of Ft. Polk.