SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – It’s a way to give back to our country’s heroes. Sedgwick County offers a discount program for veterans and active military personnel.
Commissioners approved the program 5-0 at today’s commission meeting.
The program will provide a discount card, similar to a driver’s license, which could be used at participating businesses.
According to officials, the county plans to partner with veteranbargains.com — a website ran by a Wichita veteran.
There are more than 120 businesses that already offer discounts to heroes. If the program is approved, the county plans to go to each listed business to confirm it is willing to participate in the discount card program.
Businesses offer discounts up to 25% off to veterans and military personnel, which one veteran said goes a long way.
“Any business that is, you know, in tuned with giving a discount, say a person puts their life on the line, so you know a dollar off, two dollars off, I think the person earned it,” said John McCormick, a federal law enforcement veteran.
Active military can show their military I.D. to the Sedgwick County Register of Deeds to receive a discount card. Veterans must go in to file their DD-214 to receive one.
According to county officials, the program is also a way to encourage veterans to file their discharge papers.
“There were only 13 veterans that filed last year,” shared Tonya Buckingham, Sedgwick County Register of Deeds.
Buckingham explained it’s important to file the form because it’s not automatically recorded upon discharge.
Once it’s filed, a veteran can obtain free certified copies. A DD-214 can be used to apply for jobs, Veterans’ Affairs benefits and military funeral honors.
According to Kansas law, the forms are not public record. Therefore a veteran’s privacy is protected.
“Access to records is restricted to the dischargee, his/her descendants or agents,” said Buckingham.
The county official said Cook County in Chicago uses a discount card program to encourage the filing of DD-214’s — which is where she got the idea.
The discount program costs $2,000 for printing and photo equipment, which will come from the 2019 budget.
Sedgwick County is the only county in Kansas to offer heroes a discount card.