'Thank a Vet' program launches in Washington County

Robert Houk • Jan 16, 2019 at 8:08 PM

The Washington County Register of Deeds Office offers a free service for veterans to file their military discharge papers in a safe place while qualifying for discounts on purchases from participating area businesses.

The “Thank a Vet” program was given the green light by the county’s Budget Committee on Wednesday, which approved a transfer of $7,000 from a designated data processing fund in the register’s office to implement the program. Register of Deeds Teresa Bowman said the service comes at no additional cost to veterans, or to the county’s taxpayers.

Washington County is one of the few counties in Tennessee that offers the service.

“It’s a really good program,” Bowman said.

Veterans who participate will be issued a identification card that could earn them as much as a 20 percent discount on purchases from businesses that enroll in the program. Bowman encourages veterans to call her at 753-1644 to learn more about the program, and to get a list of participating businesses.

She said her office would be working with Jerry Story, Washington County’s veterans service officer, to get the word out about “Thank a Vet.”

“We are are encouraging veterans to record their discharge papers with our office,” Bowman told members of the Budget Committee, which has sent the “Thank a Vet” proposal to the County Commission for its approval on Jan. 28. “Veterans must have copies of their discharge papers to qualify for benefits, but some have lost or misplaced them.”

Bowman said registering those DD214 “discharge from active service” forms with her office will allow veterans to keep those records safe and secure. And unlike most other records kept by her office, those forms would not be accessible to the general public.

“That’s because the forms have Social Security numbers on them,” she said.

In other business, the Budget Committee voted Wednesday to approve an application for a $300,000 state grant for renovations to the Johnson City/Washington County Health Department’s Dr. Hezekiah B. Hankal Building at 219 Princeton Road. Washington County Mayor Joe Grandy said the grant from the state Health Department would cover renovations to the second floor of the 26-year-old building.

“We are making progress,” he said.

Work continues on improvements to the first floor of the building, which were made possible by an earlier $400,000 grant from the state.


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