Millions more will soon be allowed to shop on military bases. Veterans wonder how they’ll get access.
As defense officials get ready for 3 million more people who will be able to shop at military stores on base, some veterans are wondering whether they’ll be able to use their new benefits.
Some veterans have contacted Military Times to say that they are eligible for the new benefit that takes effect Jan. 1, but are concerned they won’t have access to the stores. That’s because they don’t have the specific credential required ― the Veteran Health Identification Card, or VHIC, issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Based on responses to Military Times queries, there are no answers yet for these veterans. Information was not immediately available about how many veterans could be affected.
Under a new law, Purple Heart recipients; former prisoners of war; veterans with a service-connected disability from 0 to 90 percent as documented by the Department of Veterans Affairs; and certain primary veteran caregivers will be newly eligible to shop at commissaries and exchanges. It applies to all military bases, including Coast Guard.