SANTA RITA, Guam—The U.S. Naval Base Guam Visitor Control Center Contractor Services Office started veteran pre-enrollment services this week as part of the upcoming changes to base access and privileges under the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act.
Pre-enrollment services will continue every Tuesday and Thursday through Dec. 12.
Dozens of veterans took advantage of the services this week, including Air Force veteran Duane Salas, 39, of Dededo. Since his service ended in 2005, Salas has only been on a military installation for doctor’s appointments and looks forward to the changes that will take effect in January 2020.
“I encourage all the veterans to take advantage of it,” Salas said, referring to the pre-enrollment services. “I believe we’ve done all our part. This is awesome because now I can be able to go back on base and buy something.”
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 7am to 10:30am and noon to 3:30pm. The office is closed from 11am to 12pm.
These days are specifically designated for veteran pre-enrollment services. Contractors will be seen by appointment only and may schedule appointments via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the VCC.
As of Thursday afternoon, nearly 200 people were processed, with an average wait time of 25 minutes. Veterans are encouraged to pre-enroll to avoid longer processing wait times come January.
Pedro Borja, 72, of Barrigada was at the NBG VCC Thursday to pre-register. The Army veteran said he heard about the pre-enrollment through the media and was thankful that NBG designated days specifically for the VHIC.
“The service was great,” Borja said. “It’s more than outstanding because I am not even standing outside. I got through the process and everything.”
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.
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 with questions regarding the veteran pre-enrollment services are encouraged to contact the VCC at 339-6217/5208/1280/1380. (PR)