By Sherrie Norris
The office of Watauga County Register of Deeds was recognized on March 16 by the Watauga County American Legion Post 130 for its ongoing service and support of the local veterans organization.
During the post’s first Thursday morning coffee social for 2023, spokesman Ralph Earp said there were numerous people who work behind the scenes to help the veterans stay active and informed of services, programs and benefits of which they might not otherwise know.
Earp, along with his fellow comrades, and especially Larry Osborne, who presided over the gathering in the absence of Commander Finley Hodges, said it was an honor to show their gratitude to “a very special lady” and her staff.
“They have worked to help our veterans in many ways,” Earp and Osborne agreed. “You can contact her for a special discount card for veterans, among other things, involving our veterans. We just want to say thank you to Amy and her staff for all they do for us, and for the county, as a whole.”
On behalf of her staff, Shook accepted a framed certificate of appreciation and said they were grateful for the local post of the American Legion. “We appreciate this acknowledgment and your expressions of gratitude, but we do what we do because of you and the freedoms you fought for.”
Not only does the Register of Deeds file and store in a secure place military discharges (DD214) for county veterans, but in 2015, the office took on the Thank-a-Veteran Program, which provides discounts to veterans at various businesses in the area.
Shook explained, “ It is an honor for us to offer these services. The Thank-A-Veteran Program is something that you all have told us you really appreciate, and we are glad for that.”
It’s a very simple process for enrollment into the program, Shook added.
“To get started, a veteran needs to bring his or her military discharge/DD214 form, along with a valid photo ID for recording in our office. There is no charge to record this document. Veterans who already have their discharge/DD214 forms recorded with our office need only to bring a valid photo ID to receive a veterans discount card. Once you have been issued a card, simply present it at participating businesses to receive the discount.”
Shook said that a list of participating businesses is available on her office/county website (see below for the link.)
However, due to several businesses closing, etc., since the pandemic, the list is currently being updated.
“The discount card is issued to veterans at no charge as a ‘thank-you’ for your service to our country,” Shook explained. “We love and appreciate our veterans!”
The discount cards are issued in the Register of Deeds office Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.
Shook added that the discount cards are for the purpose of receiving the discounts made available from participating businesses only.
“It is not a valid ID for determining actual identity or residency; it is not issued by the United States Department of Veteran Affairs, nor does it entitle the holder to any claim of Veterans Affairs benefits.”
Interested in Participating as a Business?
Shook and her staff invite local businesses to join the growing list of those already showing their appreciation for veterans through this unique program.
“As a participant, you will be given a poster to display in your business — showing your customers and our veterans that you are a part of the Thank-a-Veteran Program. Additionally, your business will be listed on our website, and will be on the list given to veterans when they obtain a card.”
For more information on the discount cards, or to learn more about becoming a business participant, visit the Register of Deeds site at wataugacounty.org, email [email protected]; call 828-265-8034.or visit the office at 842 West King Street, Suite 9, Boone, inside the Watauga County Courthouse.
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