New state law recognizes veterans

Connecticut veterans will have a new means of identification when a new state law goes into effect in January. The program will add a veteran's flag symbol on drivers licenses and state IDs.

The law came about after many veterans who are struggling financially expressed concern that in order to receive benefits at stores they were required to have a recognized "status," according to State Senator Toni Boucher's office (R-26).

"Our armed forces have done so much for our country, this is the least we can do for them," Ms. Boucher said in a press release. "The solution agreed upon by Veterans Affairs and the Department of Motor Vehicles places an American flag on the veteran's license or identification card."

At least 30 days prior to visiting a DMV or AAA office, veterans should submit to the state Department of Veterans Affairs a completed application and proof of honorable discharge, such as a DD-214.

The applicationis available at the Department of Veterans Affairs website by visiting and clicking the "Application for Veteran's Flag" link.

Applications and documentation may be mailed to state Department of Veterans Affairs, Attn: Veteran's Flag on Drivers License or ID Card, 287 West St., Rocky Hill, CT 06067.

The flag symbol will be added to veteran's license or ID card at no additional cost.

"In addition to discounts at various stores, this symbol will also alert first responders during an emergency that the patient is a veteran and may have special insurance coverage," Ms. Boucher said.,

The new law also includes a free lifetime pass into any state park, forest or state recreational facility to any resident who is a disabled wartime veteran.

There is also a new state website for veterans: