Schoharie County is encouraging its local heroes to stop by and get a new Veterans Identification Card so dozens of merchants can offer their thanks to those who served.
County Clerk Indica Jaycox on Tuesday said Schoharie will be the newest in a growing list of New York counties taking part in the “Return the FAVOR” program, or Find and Assist Veterans of Record.
Jaycox said the county spent less than $3,000 for a machine to make the ID cards. Some savvy veterans have already secured a card and the County Clerk’s office is holding a mass ID event all this week.
Participating in the program has been a goal for a while, but progress was stunted last year when the County Clerk’s office, one of several in the County Building in Schoharie, was shut down by the flood.
“There’s over 45 County Clerks now that have started this. Both my parents were veterans, so this means a lot to me too,” Jaycox said.
As of Tuesday, Jaycox said she’d made contact with more than 40 businesses interested in offering some form of discount to veterans with a new ID card.
A list of participants is under development, she said.
There’s no firm count, but Jaycox expects there’s at least 600 veterans in the county.
Jaycox said one business on the list is a bar, which will be offering a discount like a first drink for free. Other merchants may offer discounts on merchandise.
It might also spark more commerce for the county’s businesses, she said.
To get an ID card, veterans are asked to bring in their military discharge document indicating an honorable discharge.
The program is also working to get veterans to file their military forms, called the DD214, at the County Clerk’s office.
It’s a bit of “safe-keeping” that would make the form easily available in the future in the event the veteran needs it for schooling or to secure other benefits.
The County Clerk’s office will begin taking photos and making ID cards for veterans starting at 9 a.m. today.
To avoid long lines, the office is asking veterans with last names beginning with A through F to come in today, those with last names G through K on Tuesday, L through P on Wednesday, Q through U on Thursday and V through Z on Friday.
The County Clerk’s office is currently in Cobleskill at 173 South Grand St. across the street from the Schoharie County Sunshine Fairgrounds.
Veterans with questions about the program can call the Schoharie County Clerk’s office at 295-8316.