(KHNL) - They served our country, making a name for themselves as a member of the military.
But now, for millions of veterans across the country and here in Hawaii, their names could be used to steal their identity.
While the theft of the Veterans Affairs employee's computer happened on the mainland, it may have an effect on many here.
"Here in Hawaii there are 33,000 vets enrolled in Veterans Affairs and those would be the impacted vets," says Dept. of Veteran Affairs Public Affairs Officer Fred Ballard.
That stolen computer contained social security numbers and birth dates of nearly 27 million veterans, information that could fall into the wrong hands.
"It could be used to set up credit cards and loans, that's where it could be used to do the most damage," adds Ballard.
And it's another worry that retired veteran Larry Groom does not need.
"You worry about it because i'm on a fixed income now. And if someone ruins my credit, I'm in a lot of trouble," he said.
So veterans who registered for VA are encouraged to take a good look at their bank accounts and credit card statements to make sure there is no unusual activity. If there is, report it immediately.
Hawaii's VA has already been fielding calls from concerned veterans, who will soon receive a letter from the department explaining what happened and what they should do.
The stolen material was mainly from veterans discharged since 1975, and included not only important information on vets, but also private details on some spouses and family members.
The VA has set up a manned call center that veterans can call for information. That toll-free number is 1-800-FEDINFO.