Letters for Oct. 13, 2016

DOD looking out for veterans

With everything that’s going on here and around the world, you felt that a silly military ID story warranted the front page (TGI, Oct. 4). I got my military ID card just fine. Just from my personal interaction as an Army retiree in regards to the ID card change, my understanding is the removal of your SSN was a countermeasure put in place by the DOD so as to avoid possible identity theft from occurring.

Since the DD Form 2 (or more commonly referred to as military ID card) has all the pertinent info, one would require to attempt possible identity theft if your ID card would happen to fall into the wrong hands. The whole “confiscation” thing, I won’t elaborate on that because I wasn’t there nor do I work for that agency. I don’t know what their guidance and/or protocol was at the time. Could the situation been conducted differently? Probably.

For local retirees, I would hand out a memorandum informing them of the DOD policy and instruct them to either set up an appointment to get a new ID card or stop by during business hours of a first-come, first-served basis. For visitors who are also military retirees, once again inform them by memorandum of the DOD policy outlining the SSN to DOD ID number change. And upon returning home to go to the nearest military installation to get an updated DD Form 2.

I, upon retiring from the U.S. Army five years ago, was initially given a DD Form 2 (retired) with my SSN on the front. Last year, when my son turned 10 years old, I took him to PMRF to get his dependent ID card. The administrator noticed that I still had my SSN on the front and informed me of the DOD policy and told me that he would make me a new DD Form 2 (retired) with a DOD ID number in lieu of the SSN.

He also noticed that my son has a suffix of Jr. as part of his name and asked if I’d like to have the suffix of Sr. added to mine. He didn’t have to do that, but he did. From what the article mentioned, I guess the whole ordeal was somewhat troubling. However, at the end of the day the DOD is actually looking out for the retired member so as to prevent possible identity theft.

Aaron K. Ellegard, Sr., SFC, U.S.Army (Ret), Baghdad ‘03-‘04, Mosul, Kirkuk, Tallafar ‘08-‘09

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