Veterans News

North Carolina's Driver License Offers Veteran Label


Original article can be found at the North Carolina DMV website here


Qualified North Carolina military Veterans will be able to carry the designation “VETERAN” on their driver licenses and identification cards. Thanks to a law passed by the General Assembly, Veterans who have been honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces who present their DD-214 discharge form can apply at a driver license office for the new designation. “We are happy to have this new program underway,” said state Motor Vehicles Commissioner Kelly Thomas. “If you’re a vet, we hope you’ll take advantage of this new opportunity to carry your record of service and your state’s appreciation with you anywhere you go.”


Military Veterans requested the designation to assist them in obtain military discounts from a wide variety of retailers and service providers without having to show their military discharge form. Putting the designation on the driver license or ID card will enable the state’s Veterans to show their photo ID and their Veteran status at the same time. Many states are making such designations available.


Veterans who are interested in applying for the designation should take their DD-214 discharge form to their local driver license office to show they been honorably discharged. They can request the designation be added to their license at their next renewal at no additional charge. The Division will accept the following documents as proof of a Veteran’s Honorable Discharge status: 

 • DD-214 – Certificate of Release or Discharge 

 • DD-215 – Certificate of Release or Discharge 

 • WD AGO 53/55 – Report of Separation 

 • NAVMC 78-PD – Notice of Separation 

 • NAVPERS – Separation of Service 


If a Veteran would like to add the designation at any other time, they may present the discharge form and request a duplicate license for the usual fee at any driver license office. 


The New Veteran Health Identification Card is Coming Soon!


Original article can be found at the US Department of Veterans Affairs website


What the new VHIC card provides:   Increased security for your personal information - no personally identifiable information is contained on the magnetic stripe or barcode. A salute to your military service – The emblem of your latest branch of service is displayed on your card. Several special awards will also be listed. The VHIC replaces the Veteran Identification Card (VIC) and will be issued only to Veterans who are enrolled in the VA health care system. 


Purpose of the VHIC:   The VHIC is for identification and check-in at VA appointments. It cannot be used as a credit card or an insurance card, and it does not authorize or pay for care at non-VA facilities. 


Getting the New Card is Easy!  VA will begin issuing the VHIC to newly enrolled Veterans and enrolled Veterans who were not previously issued a VIC but request an identification card starting February 21, 2014. Beginning in April, VA will automatically mail a VHIC to enrolled Veterans who were issued the VIC. Because we will be reissuing more than 4 million cards, we ask for your patience during this time. Enrolled Veterans who do not have the VIC can contact their local VA medical center Enrollment Coordinator to arrange to have their picture taken for the new VHIC, or they may request a new VHIC at their next VA health care appointment. To ensure their identity, Veterans must provide either one form of primary identification or two forms of secondary identification. Please see the Acceptable Documents for Identity Proofing table below. Important!! Veterans who are already enrolled should ensure the address we have on file is correct so you can receive your VHIC in a timely manner. To update or to confirm your address with us, please call 1-877-222-VETS (8387). If the post office cannot deliver your VHIC, the card will be returned to the VA. 


What to do if you are NOT enrolled: If you are not currently enrolled with the VA for your health care, we encourage you to apply for enrollment online at or by calling 1-877-222-VETS (8387). You may also apply for enrollment in person at your local VA medical facility. Once your enrollment is verified, your picture will be taken at your local VA medical center so that ,once production begins, a VHIC will be mailed to you. To ensure your identity, you must provide either one primary or two secondary documents. See the Acceptable Documents for Identity Proofing table below.


What to do if you do not receive your new VHIC:  You should receive your VHIC within 7 to 10 days after you apply for enrollment. Although we strive to do all we can to ensure we enroll Veterans in a timely manner, sometimes we are unable to either verify your military service or we need additional information from you. If so, we will try to contact you to get the information we need to complete your enrollment application. If we are unable to reach you, we encourage you to contact the local VA facility where the card was requested or contact us at 1-877-222-VETS (8387) to complete your application and find out the status of your card.


What to do if your VHIC is lost or stolen:  If your VHIC is lost or stolen, you should contact the VA Medical Facility where your picture was taken to request a new card be re-issued, or call us at 1-877-222-VETS (8387). Identifying information will be asked to ensure proper identification of the caller.


Acceptable documents for identifying proofing:  You will need to present one form of Primary Identification, which can be the following: State-issued driver’s license, Stat issued ID, US passport, VA identification card (VIC or VHIC), Military ID card, temporary resident card, resident alien card, permanent resident card, other federal or state-issued photo ID. If a primary form of identification is not available, present two forms of secondary identification, which can be one of the following: certified birth certificate, original social security card, DD@14 or equivalent certificate issued by the Department of Defense War Department, marriage license (certified copy), state voter’s registration card, student ID card, Native American tribal document, certificate of US citizenship (INS Form N-560 or N-561), Certificate of US citizenship (INS Form N-550 or N-570), certificate issued by US Consular offices documenting the birth of a child on foreign soil to a US citizen (Form FS-545, Form DS-1350, DS Form 240 or Form 240)

Wags 4 Tags Works With Veterans Treatment Court

Wags 4 Tags working to become a Community Resource for Veterans involved with the NC Veterans Treatment Court, District 11A.  This court provides a Veterans-only docket and assists Veterans throughout the process and beyond. 

As a Community Resource, Wags 4 Tags would work with District 11A Veterans Treatment Court, which is the FIRST Veterans court in North Carolina. Wags 4 Tags is looking to serve as an additional resource to aid Veterans diagnosed with PTSD and other brain injuries sustained as a result of combat or MST.  

It is a known fact that trained animal companionship can help Veterans in their readjustment to civilian life by easing their symptoms and providing assistance, unconditional love, trust and loyalty.  As Dr.Edward Creagan from the Mayo Clinic says, “A pet is a medication without side effects that has so many benefits. I can't always explain it myself, but for years now I've seen how instances of having a pet is like an effective drug. It really does help people.” 


What is Veteran's Treatment Court?

Veterans Treatment Court provides a means to divert Veterans from the traditional criminal justice system and provide them the support they need to lead productive and law-abiding lives through referrals for treatment, education and vocational programs and community resources, all while being judicially monitored. 

The court provides a Veterans-only docket, having all Veterans appear before a judge who better understands the issues that a Veteran may be struggling with.  This judge is also more familiar with the VA Administration, Veterans Benefit Administration, State Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Service Organizations, and volunteer Veteran Mentors and how they all can assist Veteran defendants.

The Veteran Mentors provided by the court are volunteers.  They are present during court proceedings and also assist their fellow Veterans with peer support, housing, employment linkages, job training, education, transportation, disability compensation claims, discharge status and other linkages available at the local, state and federal level. 

Various specialists and representatives are also present during court proceedings to facilitate a “one-stop shop,” linking Veterans with the programs, benefits and services they have earned.  These team members are not employed by the criminal justice system and normally would not be present at the courthouse.  Consolidating justice-involved Veterans onto a single docket permits these individuals to actively support those in need of their help.

Additional Information:

VA Benefits Rise 1.7 Percent

President Obama has signed legislation providing a 1.7 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) for 3.9 million recipients of VA disability benefits, dependency and indemnity compensation and pensions.

The COLA bill, which had been stalled in the Senate since late September, was freed up on Nov. 13 and unanimously approved in time for the increase to be included in the checks received in January. Additional delay could have stalled payments until February or later.

SOURCE: DAV, 11/27/2012

Stem Cells Could Aid in Healing Traumatic Brain Injury


By Maureen Mack – Veterans Today, November 26, 2012

The primary investigator of the study is Aleksandra Glavaski-Joksimovic, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurosurgery; co-primary investigator is Milan Joksimovic, Ph.D., assistant professor of cell biology, neurobiology and anatomy at MCW.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a considerable health problem with no effective therapy. There is increasing evidence that bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSC) have potential to migrate toward the site of trauma and stimulate recovery of the damaged brain tissue after TBI. Researchers in this study aim to learn more the mechanisms contributing to that migration and restoration.


This is one of 19 pilot projects being funded in 2012 through CTSI. The goal is to create synergy through collaboration, and studies are specifically designed to lead to major future research support. The projects explore findings that have the potential to be translated into clinical practice and community health, and are led by investigators at the CTSI’s eight partnering institutions: the Medical College of Wisconsin, Marquette University, Milwaukee School of Engineering, UW-Milwaukee, Froedtert Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, the VA Medical Center, and the BloodCenter of Wisconsin.


CTSI is part of a national consortium of top medical research institutions. Working together, the CTSI institutions are committed to improve human health by streamlining science, transforming training environments and improving the conduct, quality and dissemination of clinical and translational research. The CTSI program is led by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health.


Support for the Pilot Award Program comes from the National Institutes of Health, the John and Jeanne Byrnes CTSI Award, and both MCW’s Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin programs.

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