New ID cards at VA cause new problems

TOPEKA (KSNT) – The Department of Veterans Affairs is issuing new ID cards to service members across the nation but with the new cards come a series of glitches.

When Michele Reese went to her mailbox this week, she found one of the new ID cards. The card was for her father, an Air Force veteran. The problem?
“My dad died over two and a half years ago.” says Reese.

A sad reminder of her dad’s passing, as well as other emotions.

“I was disgusted that this came to me, since he’s been gone so long.” said Reese.

She filed the paperwork with the VA about her father’s death two and a half years ago. She called them again after the card came in the mail. She was told that the VA uses multiple computer logs for tracking veterans, with little crossover.

VA Public Affairs Officer for Eastern Kansas, Jim Gleisberg said,”I would hate to say that it surprises me. It’s a shame that large organizations have different areas and they don’t communicate well with each other but yes, I’m afraid that does happen.”

Reese’s case isn’t unique. “They told me they get these all the time.”

This isn’t the only problem with the new cards.

“What happened if they moved? Well the VA is going to issue that card to the last known address and so the person who is living there they may destroy it, they may do something else, they may try to give it back to the post office, but that too can create other problems.” said Gleisberg.

Reese believes the VA is wasting time, money, and resources with their ID issuance, not to mention the emotional toll on families.

“It’s just overwhelming, you want them to rest in peace and the families should be able to carry on.”

Reese now also has to find and then fax the VA a copy of her father’s death certificate…something she did more than two years ago.

Gleisberg wants to reiterate that those ID cards are sent from a national office, which tracks veterans, not from the Kansas VA.

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