The card has been around for a few years but I had always discarded the notion of applying for one because it isn't free! Recently I came to my senses and applied. It costs £4.99 and lasts for 5 years. Come on, what's £4.99. That can be recouped in very short order having nabbed a few discounts. Recently I finally decided to apply. They didn't accept the initial proof of service that I sent so I reinforced it with an Army Identity Card dated 1984 and a picture of me with Her Majesty the Queen. Between them those two pieces of evidence did the trick!
The 'big' stores, Debenhams, M&S etc don't accept the card - surprise, surprise, but there are a few hundred others that do. I was particularly pleased to see Patisserie Valerie on the list - who doesn't like to stop for a coffee and cake whilst out shopping.
Finally, Oxford Street having exhausted me, I went for a liquid lunch with my sister and we ended up sharing another goldfish bowl sized G&T.
Scrolling through Face Book this morning I was amused by a comment from another military veteran about his time in the service "it was all a game, to make you the person you are today".