SERVICE: Disrespected, dishonored

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To Home Depot: I went to your store on June 6 to purchase some items for a home project. When I went to the checkout clerk I showed my VA medical card as I have in the past for proof of service. I was told by the clerk that they could no longer accept it as proof of service for the veterans discount and showed me the flyer that management had given them of accepted military ID cards they would approve for discounts. If they have an active military ID, or are retired with an ID to use on base at the exchange, then they are entitled to the Home Depot discount.

This means that I and others who have served are not recognized as military veterans by the management of Home Depot, even those like me who are on service-connected disability recognized by the Veterans’ Administration and verified by the Department of Defense.

My first four years in the military were with the USAF serving with the 1st Fighter Wing, Selfridge AFB, Michigan under SAC from February 1961 to February 1965. This unit was readied during the Cuban Missile Crisis and received the Presidential Unit citation for its response.

My last three years in the military were with the U.S. Army, serving with the 554th Combat Engineer attached to the 25th Division in Vietnam from February 1966 to October 1968. I guess those who served but did not retire from the military are not to be recognized by your stores.

I want to thank you for reminding me that my service does not count because we were not in a declared war, but a military conflict. I am sure that all who have served in recent years and suffered injuries from Desert Storm and other involvements to which they are receiving veterans’ benefits are going to feel dishonored also.

Therefore, I will drive the extra two miles to receive the recognition that all veterans should receive for their service and sacrifice while serving even if it was for one term of service. This attitude from your corporate leaders reminds me of the way we were received upon returning from Vietnam in 1968.

A Dishonored Veteran,

DENNIS R. CROUCH

USAF and U.S. Army

Coeur d’Alene

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