by Ryan Guina
I was recently introduced to Vet Tix, an organization that supports active duty military members, veterans, and their families by offering them free tickets to sporting events, concerts, and other events. Vet Tix, or The Veteran Tickets Foundation, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded by Michael A Focareto, a veteran of the US Navy (the majority of the support staff are also veterans and those who are not veterans all have family ties to the military).
Free Tickets for Military Members, Veterans, and their Families
I love how Vet Tix includes veterans. Many organizations limit discounts and freebies to active duty, Guard / Reserve, and retirees. Part of the reason many organizations limit support to these groups of people is because it can be difficult to prove military service. Vet Tix gets around this by requiring members to create an account and send in proof of service. Let’s take a look at how to create an account (note: you are limited to only one account; duplicates will be flagged and deleted):
Qualifying for a Veteran Tickets Foundation account: You must have a verified account before you are able to log in and request tickets to events. This is a manual process which usually takes about 3 business days. To qualify, you must have served honorably in one of the following branches of service, or you must be the spouse or PNOK (Primary Next of Kin) of a veteran who was killed in action.
- Coast Guard (including Reserves)
- Marine Corps (including Reserves)
- Air Force (including Air Guard and Reserves)
- Navy (including Reserves)
- Army (including National Guard and Reserves)
Supporting documentation required: You must also provide proof of honorable service. Here is how to apply:
- Active duty. All you need to do is register with your .mil e-mail address, and you will be good to go. If you are unable to register with your e-mail address, you can provide a copy of your most recent Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), and a copy of a valid government photo ID (do not send a copy of your military ID). You can provide this information via mail, fax, or by uploading it to their site.
- Veterans. To create an account, you will need to send in a copy of your DD Form 214, DDD Form 215, DD Form 256, or NGB Form 22, along with a copy of a valid government photo ID after you sign up. Your discharge papers must prove you received an Honorable Discharge. Note: Be sure to cover your SSN when you send in your discharge paperwork; this is more secure.
- Severely Wounded Veterans. Veterans who were Severely Wounded in Combat and received a Purple Heart are required to send in the same information as veterans, along with some additional information: point of contact information for their case worker at the VA Hospital, Wounded Warrior Battalion or Warrior Transition Unit, as well as a point of contact at their current/former military command. (I’m not sure what the difference is, as I didn’t see anything else about this on their site).
- Spouse or Primary Next of Kin of KIA. Survivors of veterans must submit a Report of Casualty Form 1300 with a valid government photo ID after signing up. The name of the person applying must be on the DD Form 1330.
All required documents can be mailed, faxed, or uploaded to their system. If you cannot find your required documentation, you can learn more about ordering a replacement DD Form 214, or requesting a copy of your military records.
Tickets go fast – be sure to check often!
Because Veteran Tickets Foundation is a non-profit organization, they rely on donations of tickets and funds to make this work. You can make a tax-deductible donation to this organization, or you can support them in other ways. If you sign up for an account, be aware that tickets can be random. Some organizations regularly support this organization by providing a large number of tickets, while others may only send a few tickets. It’s important to stay up to date and be flexible when making plans.
Overall, this is a great organization, and one that is doing great things for our military community. We salute you, Vet Tix!
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