After applying for a veteran’s designation on my Iowa driver’s license renewal, I was told that I do not qualify as a veteran. I have never seen action, never been shot at. However, after serving two years in the Air Force ROTC and six years in the Iowa Army National Guard, I find it disappointing that I have no recognition of ever having done anything for my country.
I used to stand on Memorial Day when servicemen were thanked for their service, but I will no longer do so. I do not and never have asked for veteran’s benefits, but to learn that a simple designation on a driver’s license cannot be granted is puzzling to me. When I was drafted (forced) to participate in the military, I chose to join the National Guard. While training at Fort Knox, I asked permission to stay on active duty with the Army in Germany, but the request was denied.
So, for individuals thinking of joining the guard, remember that you will not be a veteran unless your unit is activated by the federal government.