Dear Heloise: I learn new ideas from your column and would like to submit one for you. I was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army back in the 1960s. Recently, I’m finding more and more retailers offering DISCOUNTS TO VETERANS. I now carry one of my dog tags on my car’s key ring, and I have been able to get discounts on purchases by showing the tag to the cashier.

The other day, it struck me that there is another benefit to carrying my dog tags. On my dog tag is my faith preference, and also my blood type, should a transfusion be necessary.

This information could be beneficial to the thousands of military veterans. Just thought I’d pass this along for the benefit of your readers. -- Gary in Missouri

Gary, thank you for writing. And a special Heloise hug to all who have served and are serving now. More and more companies and retailers are offering discounts to military members and their families. One note: If the military dog tag has your Social Security number on it, please be mindful of the potential for identity theft. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have taken over many of my elderly mother’s affairs. I carry a separate small purse inside my purse that contains her credit/debit cards, checkbook, power of attorney and living will, stamps, cash, etc. Her things are never commingled with mine, and I can easily find what I need. -- Sandy, via e-mail


Dear Heloise: Regarding rental cars and owners manuals: Many car manufacturers put the owners manual online. With so many folks using smartphones, tablet computers and laptops, it shouldn’t be too difficult to access these manuals online to answer questions regarding the operation of controls, etc. -- Stan, via e-mail


Dear Readers: This is a classic hint from my mother, the original Heloise (1919-1977): When you have a repair worker in your home to fix the washer, garbage disposal, air conditioner, etc., carefully WATCH what he or she is doing so you can learn. Perhaps the next time if something goes wrong, you can fix it yourself, or you’ll know when to call a professional. -- Heloise


Dear Heloise: I have found that by putting my garden hose in a figure eight instead of a circle, it comes out without kinks. Rolling it in a figure eight puts one positive twist and one negative twist with each cycle and keeps the hose straight when pulling it out to use. -- Larry in Palestine, Tex.


Dear Heloise: My regular postal mail comes enclosed with a rubber band because of the large volume. I save the rubber bands, and when I have a sufficient amount, I return them to the post office.

Last time I recycled these rubber bands, I was told that the post office had no money in the budget to purchase them. -- Gail in Virginia

Send a hint to Heloise, P.O. Box 795000, San Antonio, Tex. 78279-5000, fax it to 210-HELOISE or e-mail it to Please include your city and state.

2012, King Features Syndicate