WARREN - Veteran ID cards, hot from the printer, were the coveted item of the day at the Trumbull County Recorder's Office on Friday.
Richard Dallas, 76, of Cortland, was among the 200 or so veterans who filtered through the office to have their photo taken for the free identification cards.
"I was trying to get a military discount, and people kept asking for a card," Dallas said.
Having been drafted when he was 23, Dallas served in the U.S. Army from 1963 to 1965 in Germany, working with missiles. He said he has plenty of stories from his time in the service, though none he thought fit for the paper.
Now he's hoping to get a price cut on supplies at home improvement stores and meals at restaurants by presenting his new card.
Recorder Diana Marchese said she heard many stories of service throughout the day, including one man who served on a submarine that was two football fields long and four stories tall, and another who had an 8-foot hole in his ship repaired at sea.
Terry Hamilton of Niles, a Navy veteran, shows his new veteran ID card that he received Friday at the Trumbull County Recorder’s Office in Warren on the first day that office offered the cards.
Tribune Chronicle / Margaret Thompson
"For what they have given to us and provided for our county through their service, (the ID card) is a small token of our appreciation," she said.
In order to get an ID card, veterans must have their DD Form 214 discharge papers on record in Trumbull County; this can be done at the same time that they get their card made by presenting the form to the recorder.
"Veterans had been looking for a card so they don't have to carry around their discharge papers with them," Marchese said.
When you go
Veteran ID Cards
Who: All Trumbull County veterans
Where: Trumbull County Recorder's Office, first floor, Administration Building, 160 High St., Warren
When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday
Bring: DD-214 discharge papers
With about 20,000 veterans in the county, she said the line was out the door early on, and about 100 men had received cards in the first few hours.
"On the state level, you can have it put on your driver's license. To me, that is the most official thing you could have," she said. But still, some stores that offer discounts weren't recognizing the military status.
The ID card program began after passage of the Ohio Senate Bill that gives county recorders the ability to issue the cards. Since then, Stark County led the way locally, with Mahoning County following close behind to offer the cards in November.
"I think we've had more than 1,000 veterans come in," said Mahoning County Recorder Noralynn Palermo.
She said the first month was the busiest for issuing the cards, but that they continue to have two or three veterans arrive at the office each day.
The Trumbull County office is expecting the large influx to carry through today and is set up to process veterans on the first and fifth floors of the Administration Building.
The camera and printer cost the office about $3,200 dollars, but Marchese said it is a small amount for the office to pay in order to provide the cards free to veterans. The program will carry on as a daily function of the offices.
"It's one of our duties and responsibilities now," Marchese said.