From the Office of State Senator Leticia Van de Putte

For Immediate Release
November 6, 2013
Contact: Lee Nichols, 512-463-0126

Veterans Now Have New Ways to Indicate Their Service

(Austin) — Texas is a great state for military veterans and their families. Not only because of the strong economic climate that provides business and employment opportunities, but because of excellent state benefits such as the Hazlewood Act for education, free hunting and fishing licenses for certain disabled veterans, and local businesses that often offer discounts to active duty military and veterans.

The challenge can come when accessing those benefits. Not every veteran has a Military ID card from the US Armed Forces, and they certainly don't carry around a copy of their DD214. With the passage of Senate Bill 164 in the 2013 Legislative Session, veterans can now indicate their honorable military service on a concealed handgun license (CHL) or state ID card. The law took effect September 1.

This "VETERAN" tag was added to driver's licenses during the 2011 Legislative Session, but advocates and officers from the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) KEL-LAC Chapter 114 in San Antonio pointed out that we missed an opportunity to recognize military service on the CHL and state ID cards. DAV KEL-LAC Chapter 114 Commander Luis A. Cortes says, "I feel that the city and state must continue to strive for a more deserved recognition to those who 'wrote a blank check' to defend this country and our families' freedom."

"The new law created by Senate Bill 164 fills the gap to give as many veterans as possible the opportunity to display their honorable service and receive the benefits they have earned," said State Senator Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio and Chair of the Veteran Affairs and Military Installations Committee. "I was proud to author this bill, grateful to Representatives Jason Isaac and Kenneth Sheets for sponsoring it in the House, and even more grateful to our brave veterans, who fought for our freedom to have a democratic government."