After speaking with Pacific Military Range Facility Commander Capt. Vincent R. Johnson for 20 minutes on the phone Monday, Heidi Wolfgang had good news for her 80-year-old father, a retired Army veteran: He was getting his military ID back.
On Saturday evening, Wolfgang, her daughter, and her father, Raymond Logan, were denied access to the base, where they planned to have dinner, after Logan’s military ID failed to pass clearance.
Logan said he was told Capt. Johnson ordered that retiree ID cards with Social Security numbers on the front could no longer be used for base access.
“I told (the security officer), ‘Just give me my card back and I’ll go ahead and leave then.’”
But Wolfgang and Logan said the military ID was then confiscated.
“(The guard) said, ‘I can’t give back your card back now. It’s government property now. It has your Social Security card on it,’” Logan said. “They are now beginning to issue new ID cards to any retiree who wishes to get a new card or loses theirs or has it lost or stolen.”
After several minutes, Logan said a call was made and two military personnel showed up.
“I’m a retired military chaplain,” he said. “The last thing I’m going to do is engage an officer with a security force in a knockdown, dragout.”
Two days after the incident, Wolfgang said she’s still upset over the ordeal.
“Honestly, I feel like I’m still in shock over the whole thing because I had to deal with this all weekend with my dad who’s totally embarrassed about this is how our Navy is represented to the people that come here,” she said. “The whole thing was ridiculous.”
Wolfgang said they were at the gate for about an hour and a half.
“These security guys created a huge problem for us when there was nothing wrong,” she said. “It felt like an abuse of authority. You don’t have to confiscate a retired veteran’s ID and treat him like a criminal and hold him at the gate over an ID.”
PMRF officials did not respond to inquiries from The Garden Island by late Monday.
Logan said he contacted the Judge Advocate General’s office at Schofield Barracks, who told him the guards had no legal right to confiscate his ID.
“Retirees with those ID cards is optional whether they have them replaced with a card without a Social Security number on it or not,” he said.
Logan commended Capt. Johnson for acting quickly to resolve the matter.
“Capt. Johnson certainly confronted it head on and got an immediate resolution to everything,” he said. “He has learned a valuable lesson because of this, and he said we will not be confiscating any more ID cards.”
Wolfgang said she has concerns for veterans from the Mainland who may have their IDs confiscated if they visit the base.
“People don’t want to go through that kind of hassle,” she said. “Nobody should go through this.”
Logan added: “If somebody’s from the Mainland and they fly over to the Hawaiian islands for vacation … and come to PMRF, there ID card is confiscated at the gate. Without their ID card, they are not getting on a military post. What kind of conflict is this causing?”
In 2009, the Department of Defense announced the removal of Social Security Numbers from all DoD issued military Id cards for security measures.
Logan said he’s had his military since Dec. 31, 1992. His retired class military ID is identified with “INDEF,” which means an appointment may be scheduled “ if you want it replaced,” according to tricare.mil, an official website of the Defense Health Agency.