Locate your military discharge paperwork

January 26, 2013

To start the New Year off right, I am going to ask that all Hood County veterans look for your military discharge papers or DD 214. If you can’t find them, military records are stored at The Nation Archives in St. Louis and can be requested on line at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/ or by mail using a Standard Form 180 and must be signed by the veteran.

If the veteran is deceased and a family member is requesting these records, the death certificate must accompany all requests unless it is needed for burial in a National Cemetery. We can fax all records requests for you from our office.

MANY RECORDS WERE DESTROYED

On July 12 1973, The National Archives suffered huge a fire which destroyed a large number of Army records with discharge dates between November 1912 and January 1960 and Air Force records between September 1947 and January 1964.

Reserve and Marine Corps records suffered some losses but not to the magnitude of the Army and Air Force.

For this reason we may rely on the veteran to provide us with the records we need to help the Records Center verify service. Military personnel often kept copies of orders, medical records, and award certificates they were issued while active duty and sometimes the veteran has records that National Archives doesn’t have.

RECORDS NEEDED FOR BENEFITS

When you file for VA benefits for the first time, the VA needs an original or certified copy of your discharge papers.

Although they say they will send the original back to you, I strongly encourage veterans NEVER to put original documents in the mail. Take your original DD 214 to Annex II, the County Clerk’s Office across the street from Granbury City Hall, and they will make a certified copy for you and keep a copy on record in case you should lose your original. This service is free to veterans.

VETERAN DISCOUNTS

Veterans often ask about identifying documents to prove they are veterans when taking advantage of discounts offered by local businesses. There is no “Veterans ID card” per se. Military Retiree ID cards are issued to veterans and their spouses who retire with over 20 years of service, are medically retired, or are rated 100ercent disabled.

Some veterans carry a picture ID issued by the Department of Veterans Affairs as proof of enrollment in the VA health care system. Unfortunately not all veterans retire or qualify for enrollment so they wouldn’t have an ID card of any kind.

To address this, The Texas Legislature passed Section 521.1235 of the Texas Transportation Code directing The Department of Public Safety to include the designation “VETERAN” on the face of any class or type of Texas driver’s license. Check our website under “Announcements” or contact the Department of Public Safety for more information.

KEEP RECORDS SAFE

It’s important for veterans to keep their papers all together in a safe place and let their spouse or next of kin know where these papers are.

Not all records are easily replaced. To avoid fees and inconvenience, always safeguard these important documents.

[email protected] | 817-579-3292

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Category: Life Archived