Johnston County veterans can now take advantage of the discounts local shops and restaurants offer without carrying around their valuable discharge documents.
In August, Johnston County Registrar of Deeds Craig Olive announced his office was creating a program called “Thank a Vet,” issuing photo ID cards veterans can show at local businesses.
And since the program launched, the office has seen 161 veterans come in for IDs.
“We have been so busy with the new veterans program,” Olive said. “It gives me have a lot of job satisfaction knowing I have made the veterans of Johnston County happy. The response has been unbelievable.”
But that’s not all the program offers. In addition to the IDs at no cost, Olive’s office also is also archiving veterans’ discharge papers for safekeeping, issuing the veterans certified copies.
It’s a service the Register of Deeds Office has always offered, but from August to November of last year, just four veterans took advantage of the service. This year, 161 have done so.
“I am very pleased with the program that we have implemented for our veterans” Olive said. “We are helping our veterans by recording their military discharges. Recording the document protects them from identity theft and, at the same time, provides them a program to get discounts from area businesses.”
Johnston County has more than 14,000 veterans, Olive said, and his office is working with Johnston chambers of commerce to recruit businesses to offer discounted meals, goods and services for veterans.
Johnston isn’t the only county in North Carolina with a program like this, but it’s the only one close by.
“Johnston County is the only county within a 150-mile radius offering this to citizens,” Olive said.
To sign up for the program, or to learn more, call 919-989-5161. The Register of Deeds Office, located in the Johnston County Courthouse in Smithfield, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.