In-store military exchange and commissary shopping privileges, as well as Morale, Welfare and Recreation resale facility use at military installations in the 50 states and U.S. territories are now available to the following groups: Purple Heart recipients, former prisoners of war, all veterans with service-connected disabilities ratings of 0-90 percent (100 percent already have this benefit), and individuals approved and designated as the primary family caregivers of eligible veterans under the Department of Veterans Affairs Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers.
Jay Scott, Veterans Service Officer for Otero County, suggests that caregivers may be designated on the VA Medical ID Card. If they are not so designated, go back to the VA and get a new VA Medical ID Card with the designation. In any case, the individuals now eligible to participate need a Veterans Health Identification Card.
Scott is going in for knee surgery and will be out of his office for a month. In his absence, he suggests contacting Rick Ward, Veterans Service Officer for Bent County, at 719-468-6406. Ward will be covering for Scott during his absence and will see veterans in Scott’s office by appointment.
If a service-connected veteran is ineligible to obtain an ID card, the Department of Defense will temporarily accept the VA Health Eligibility Center Form H623A, indicating placement in Priority Group 8e, paired with a valid ID.
Also newly eligible are Blue Water Navy Vietnam veterans who served in Vietnam and offshore waters and may have been exposed to herbicide, commonly known as Agent Orange. They must have served between Jan. 9, 1962, and May 7, 1975, and have one or more of the conditions listed below:
Amyloid light-chain (AL) amyloidosis, Chloracne or other acneform disease consistent with chloracne, Chronic B-cell leukemias, Diabetes melitis Type 2, Ischemic heart disease, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Multiple myeloma, Parkinson’s Disease, Peripheral neuropathy (early onset), Porphyria cutanea tarda, Prostate cancer, Respiratory cancers (lung, bronchus, larynx or trachea), soft-tissue sarcoma (other than osteosarcoma, chondrosarcoma, Kaposi’s sarcoma, or mesothelioma).