By Andy Gero
Veterans who are seeking benefit from the government must first prove their military service. When applying for benefits you must first present a copy of your DD214/Separation Document.
If this document has been lost or destroyed, you may apply for a replacement by filling out form SF-180. A copy of this form may be obtained by faxing the National Personnel Record Center (NPRC) at (314) 801-9195 or writing to the National Personnel Record Center, Military Personnel Records, 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO, or phone (314) 801-0800.
In the event the veteran is deceased, the following family members may order their records:
• Surviving spouse who has not remarried
• Father • Mother • Son or daughter
• Sister or brother
Generally there is no charge for basic military personnel and medical record information provided to veterans, next-of-kin and authorized representatives from federal (non-archival) records. If your request involves a service fee, you will be notified as soon as that determination is made. For a procedural outline, visit http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/.
If any veteran or family member needs assistance, contact American Legion Post 288, or VFW Post 1614 at Post288@aol.com or PO Box 223, Montrose, CA 91021.
Andy Gero is a life member of the VFW, Post 1614 and the American Legion Post 288 in La Crescenta. He may be reached through the CV Weekly, (818) 248-2740, or write Crescenta Valley Weekly at 3800 La Crescenta Ave., Suite 101, La Crescenta, CA 91214.