Just in time for the Veterans Day celebration, the U.S. Naval Base Guam (NBG) Visitor Control Center (VCC) Contractor Services Office will provide veteran pre-enrollment services starting tomorrow, Tuesday, Nov. 12 for certain designated veterans who will be authorized to have access to military commissaries.
In an interview with the Patti Arroyo show on NewsTalk K57, Guam Veterans Affairs director Fred Bordallo said there are an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 veterans who are expected to avail of this new benefit.
According to Bordallo, his staffers are preparing for education and awareness campaigns for veterans who are still unaware of this new benefit.
The benefit is part of the upcoming changes authorized by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Section 621 of the NDAA authorizes privileges at the commissary, Military Service Exchange, and certain Morale, Welfare, and Recreation (MWR) facilities for Purple Heart recipients, veterans with service-connected disabilities, those who have been Prisoners of War (POW), and registered primary or family caregivers.
Section 626 requires that the Secretary of Defense establish procedures, by which eligible surviving spouses and other next-of-kin, may obtain unescorted access to military installations in order to receive benefits to which they may be entitled to by law or policy. Both sections are effective Jan. 1, 2020.
According to Bordallo, the benefit is not automatic and qualified veterans still have to complete some procedures and paperwork before they can avail of these new privileges.
For one, in order for eligible persons to avail of the aforementioned privileges they must obtain a VHIC or be issued a letter to specify eligible caregivers, both of which are an approved credential for requesting installation access.
Veterans and eligible caregivers must bring:
. Veterans Health Information Card (VHIC) and/or Letter of eligibility
. Completed SECNAV Form 5512/1
The hours of operation are from 7 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. and noon to 3:30 p.m. The office is closed from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.