NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The New Hanover County Register of Deeds office is preparing to launch a new Veterans Discount Program and needs local businesses to help.
Tammy Beasley, who is the registrar for New Hanover County, said they will be giving veterans who have recorded their DD 214, (discharge papers) in New Hanover County a "Thank You for Your Service" photo ID card. The card will allow veterans to get discounts at participating businesses in New Hanover County.
"They will be able to go into a business and show them the card and the business will recognize it right away and give them their discount," said Beasley. She said the goal is to make it simple and easy for veterans to get the discounts they deserve.
Beasley said her father was a Navy Veteran and it was important for her to be able to do something in honor of him and for all veterans.
"They are going out there and they are putting their life on the line for us to have our freedom," Beasley said. "We can give them something back very easily."
Beasley is mailing out letters inviting businesses to join in and offer discounts to veterans. Within a week, she said 10 businesses in New Hanover County have already signed up, offering everything from discounts on haircuts, to discounts on flowers, to discounts on cars.
The idea to offer a discount card came from Guilford County, NC explained Beasley. She said that is the only other county in this state with the program.
The new program is intended to both honor veterans and encourage them to record their DD 214 (discharge papers) in New Hanover County. Veterans won't be able to get the discount card until their DD 214 is recorded in New Hanover County. If they have lost it, the Register of Deeds office will work with Veterans Services to help them find the documentation and record it.
If they already recorded their DD 214, they will be able to come in and get their photo ID made starting in September.
Once the DD 214 is recorded, Beasley said no one except for immediate family will be able to look at it for 80 years. It has important information, including a veteran's social security number, branch and how many years they served.
"History for New Hanover County is here. Birth, marriage, death, the military and so much more," Beasley explained. "Two hundred years down the line, if you want to search your family, you will be able to come and search and find out where they served our country."
Beasley said many people have the DD 214 in safe deposit boxes and do not realize they need to record it at the Register of Deeds office. Having it recorded will also preserve the information and prevent it from being lost.
Participating businesses will be given a sign they can display if they want. The participating businesses will also be listed on the Register of Deeds website, and a list will be given to all veterans who come into the Register of Deeds office to get their photo ID made.
When the website goes live in a couple of weeks, businesses will be able to sign up themselves. Until then, anyone who wishes to participate should call Tammy Beasley, Registrar, at 910-798-7736 or email her at email@example.com.
Veterans will be able to start using the cards on Veterans Day, November 11.
Beasley said they will start taking photos and handing out the photo ID cards in September.