Military Records – How to Replace Lost Military Records or Perform Historical Research

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Military Service Records - how to get copies
Military Service records are available free of charge to military veterans and their next of kin. Other military records and photos are available for historical or genealogical research.
Table of Contents
  1. Who Can Request Military Records?
    1. Next of Kin Military Records Requests
  2. How to Replace Lost Military Service Records
  3. The National Archives Fire of 1973 – Some Military Records Were Permanently Destroyed
  4. Requesting Military Records for Historical Research
    1. Requesting Military Records for Persons of Exceptional Prominence
    2. Additional References for Historical Military Research
  5. Does the Military Have Photos of Me in Uniform?
  6. Where to Request Your Military Service Records:
  7. How Much Do Copies of Military Service Records Cost?
  8. Replacing Military Awards, Decorations, and Dog Tags

Military Service Records, medals, awards, and decorations are an important part of a veteran’s service record and are often cherished by veterans and family members. But service records are also essential to prove military service or for establishing eligibility for certain veterans benefits programs.

The most frequently requested document from the National Archives is the DD Form 214, proof of military service. This is one of the most valuable documents you will ever own, as it opens the door to a variety of benefits, such as the GI Bill, VA Loan, and possibly health care and other benefits. If you lose your DD Form 214, you should replace it immediately, since it can take some time to get a replacement.

This article will show veterans, their family members, and the general public how to request a copy of military service records, including DD Form 214, medical records, or other service records you may wish to obtain a copy of. Please click the following link if you are seeking information on replacing lost medals, awards, or decorations.

Who Can Request Military Records?

The government does not release full military service information to everyone who requests it. If the service member is still alive, he or she is the only person who can request the Complete service records, unless the veteran has given written permission to another individual, or the records are needed as part of a court order.

If the veteran is deceased, the full military service records may be requested by Next-of-Kin (NOK). If you are not the veteran or NOK (as defined below), then you are considered to be part of the general public. Members of the general public may request limited service records through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

In some cases, full military records are released for Persons of Exceptional Prominence. These are usually veterans who are in the public eye due to their military or post-military careers. Almost anyone can request military records for these veterans (more information on this below).

Next of Kin Military Records Requests

Let’s take a look at who the government considers being Next-of-Kin, and who the government considers being the general public (remember, these limitations are in place to protect your privacy).

According to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), Next-of-Kin includes:

  • For the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps & Coast Guard, the NOK is defined as: the un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister.
  • For the Army, the NOK is defined as: the surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest sibling, or eldest grandchild.
  • If you do not meet the definition of NOK, you are considered a member of the general public.

How to Replace Lost Military Service Records

Because the National Archives houses service records for millions of military veterans, you will need to provide them with some information to help locate your service records. If you are the veteran, most of this information shouldn’t be too difficult to come up with.

It’s also important to note that the National Archives processes over 1.4 million records requests annually, so to streamline the process, they generally only provide veterans and family members with a copy of the separation documents or DD Form 214, which are required for most veterans benefits. If you need additional military service records or your medical records, you must specify this when you make your records request.

Request military service records from eVetRecs
Use eVetRecs to request military service records online

To request your service records, you will need to make an online request via the eVetRecs System or by sending in a signed and dated copy of the SF 180, Request Pertaining To Military Records which you can download from the National Archives site, of from https://www.va.gov/vaforms/.

Here is a list of the basic information you will need:

  • The veteran’s complete name used while in service
  • Service number
  • Social security number
  • Branch of service
  • Dates of service
  • Date and place of birth (especially if the service number is not known).
  • All requests must be signed and dated by the veteran or next-of-kin.
  • If you are the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death of the veteran such as a copy of the death certificate, a letter from the funeral home, or a published obituary.

It is also helpful to include additional information when making your request, such as the reason for your request (if you need additional documents) or a deadline if applicable – this can be common when applying for benefits such as a VA Loan, military burial benefits, Aid & Attendance Benefits, or other benefits which may have a deadline. (The National Archives tries to process “emergency” requests within two business days, so try to be prepared when sending in your records request).

The National Archives Fire of 1973 – Some Military Records Were Permanently Destroyed

The National Archives experienced a massive fire in 1973 which damaged or destroyed service records for 16-18 million Army and Air Force veterans who were discharged between 1912-1964. In some cases the service records can be reconstructed from alternate sources such as base or unit level records, though in some cases, some records are completely destroyed. Records that fall into this category can take several weeks or longer to research and complete. You can read more about this incident and the efforts of those at the National Archives to reconstruct the records in this article.

Requesting Military Records for Historical Research

Individual military records are generally private and restricted to the member or next of kin. However, some military records are made public. These can include general information for various campaigns, casualty records, various statistics, records of medals, awards, and decorations, certain combat operations, records of POWs and MIAs, select photo archives, and much more.

Most of the information in these reports is aggregated information that would be useful to researchers, authors, and those with a historical interest in military operations. Here is a link to the data and information that can be found online. Other information is held in the archives and is available to historical researchers. Note that some of this information has not yet been transferred to a digital medium and is only available through archival research.

Requesting Military Records for Persons of Exceptional Prominence

Many military veterans have gone on to lead prominent lives. In these cases, the National Archives will often make these records available to researchers. These may include famous veterans such as military heroes, Presidents and other politicians, sports stars, celebrities, businessmen and women, cultural figures, entertainers, and more. These records may be available upon request. Note: there may be an associated fee. More info.

Additional References for Historical Military Research

These resources may also be helpful:

Does the Military Have Photos of Me in Uniform?

That is a great question, and I’m not sure. The military does maintain some of these records, but not all of them. My photo was taken with my Basic Training Flight, and that should be part of the Air Force historical records. I probably had my photo taken in uniform when I was in Basic Training, but I honestly don’t remember. If I did, then it may be part of my historical records if it was an official photo. But if the photo was taken by a commercial photographer, then it likely isn’t stored in any government archives.

I know my Officer Training School photos fall into this latter category. The photos were taken by a contractor that had the contract to take photos of our flights and us as individuals. We had the opportunity to buy either photo in hard copy or digital format. But this was a contract between us and the company. These were not official military photos, so they will not be a part of our official military archive.

Whether or not your photo is kept by the military will largely depend on when and where you served, whether or not you had official photos taken, and the policies of the individual branch of service at the time the photo was taken.

I wish I could tell you everyone has an official photo on file, but I doubt that is the case. I recommend contacting the National Archives or your branch of service’s records department to see if they have any official photos of you in uniform.

Where to Request Your Military Service Records:

Military records are maintained at the National Archives in St. Louis, MO. You can request a copy of your records online, or by mail or fax. Be sure to sign and date your request.

NPRC Mailing Address and contact info:
National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138
NPRC Phone Number:314-801-0800
NPRC Fax Number: 314-801-9195

How Much Do Copies of Military Service Records Cost?

In general, a request for basic service and medical records is free for service members and next of kin, provided the request is for a non-archival service record. Military service records are considered to be archived 62 years after the service member separates from the military. Requests for a copy of an Official Military Personnel File that is archived will be assessed a copying fee, which is $20 for a 5 page document, or a flat $60 fee for files that are more than 5 pages.

Replacing Military Awards, Decorations, and Dog Tags

USA Military Medals

Many veterans who are seeking copies of their military records may also want to look into replacing lost or damaged military awards & decorations, or their old dog tags. Each of these has a different process, which is explained in the following articles:

USAMilitaryMedals.com Military Medals Store
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About Ryan Guina

Ryan Guina is the founder and editor of The Military Wallet. He is a writer, small business owner, and entrepreneur. He served over 6 years on active duty in the USAF and is a current member of the IL Air National Guard.

Ryan started The Military Wallet in 2007 after separating from active duty military service and has been writing about financial, small business, and military benefits topics since then. He also writes about personal finance and investing at Cash Money Life.

Ryan uses Personal Capital to track and manage his finances. Personal Capital is a free software program that allows him to track his net worth, balance his investment portfolio, track his income and expenses, and much more. You can open a free Personal Capital account here.

Featured In: Ryan's writing has been featured in the following publications: Forbes, Military.com, US News & World Report, Yahoo Finance, Reserve & National Guard Magazine (print and online editions), Military Influencer Magazine, Cash Money Life, The Military Guide, USAA, Go Banking Rates, and many other publications.

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  1. David Wolfe says

    I and several friends are having issues with the VA – specifically loans. All are reserve Army.

    In my case the VA could not find me – after two years of research and going through many offices the VA finally said they agreed I was in from Aug 1966 to Dec 1970 and was given an Honorable Discharge in Aug 1971 – but – say I did not serve my full six years. Told me to contact FAS. They said they only had pay records from 1972 forward and had no idea how to find the 1971 pay stubs?????

    Suggestions?

  2. Jeffrey says

    Hello. I have a question. If a veteran applies for a civil service job, can the employer obtain military records such as medical records for the purposes of determining if the veteran should be hired for the specific job?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jeffrey, In general, your medical records are not public information and should not be viewed or obtained without your permission. However, there may be some instances in which the job requires certain medical qualifications (such as federal law enforcement, or something similar). The government may be able to view certain records if you grant them permission, or if the application states you are aware they may request or obtain certain records. You should contact the human resources office and/or a lawyer if you believe your medical records were obtained without your permission.

  3. Cynthia says

    Hello,
    My question is in regards to photos of a veteran, who lost all of his memorabilia over the years w/multiple moves. He served in both the Navy & the Marines from 1987-1996. Most importantly, I just want to know how to go about getting his Marine Boot Camp Graduation picture. I know the month & yr of his graduation but not the actual date nor his platoon #. Where should I begin? Would like to give as Christmas gift this year. Thanks for any assistance you can give.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Cynthia, Thank you for contacting me. I’m not sure where these records would be maintained, or if there is a way to find them. I recommend contacting either the National Archives, or the Marine Corps personnel office. They would be the best points of contact in your research. Best wishes!

  4. Jim Broughton says

    I have some records missing .I have contacted everyone i can thik of even the va in dc.The records just disappeared.I got every thing St.Louis said they have and the dav tried other places and got the same thing.Some was my medical they are 4 of them gone and some others.What do i do now i contacted everyone i was told to?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Jim, Thank you for contacting me. Is it possible your records were destroyed in the Fire of 1973?

      If so, then it’s possible the records are lost forever. If not, then I don’t have much to go on. The National Archives is the normal records repository, unless you are recently separated. If you separated within the last 5-10 years, you should contact your service branch personal or HR office to see if they have copies of your records. Beyond that, I would contact a veterans service organization such as the VFW, American Legion, etc. to see if they have any advice.

  5. Nicole elaine says

    I requested my dd214 and got an email on 7/3 that I should receive it in 10 days or less. I close on a house on 7/14. Is it possible I can receive by that date

  6. Mark D.Boynton says

    I have tried since April 2017,to get my USAR record of points statement.I filled out a SF 180,got nothing,went to my local division of veterns affairs,Sue Doan really did try to help me out,but I got nowhere.I contacted my senator,got a phone number that went nowhere,all I got were pass the buck responses,call this number,your name isn’t listed,what a bunch of BS.I have a DD214 and a 256A Honorable discharge,I put in an extrs year,seven instead of six.I contacted my Congressman,I got a call from some lady that sounded like she was ****** that I contacted John Katko,she gave me another number with no results.Finally I paid $89 on a Monday and received half the records I needed on Thurs.of the same week.Now the VA says they need my points statements from the missing years 1975 – 1978,They have 1971 – 1974,a DD214,a 256A ,a Honorable Discharge,I just don’t understand where the other records went and that nobody cares about finding them.It’s funny though I paid $89 and the records were found in four days,not all of them but it helped some.

  7. Lee Joanne Alf-Pool says

    My name is Lee Joanne Alf (married name is Pool, my father’s named Staff Sargent Edward A. Alf and he was in the Air Force in Korea back in the mid 1950’s. My dad passed away a few years ago and I have been searching for a photo of my dad in Uniform. I have had no luck in finding it. When dad died my step sister and I only found a few papers of dad’s time in the Air Force. I am desperate to find his Air Force photo as I apart of me won’t let go of the grieving part of his death until I see what dad looked like in his Uniform. Can you please help me?

  8. Daniel Alday says

    I need to find accident records from 1971 while on duty in Germany. The accident was documented by MP,German Police and CO. The VA claims that there are no records of me being in an accident. Alot of my records are missing in packet I received from St. Louis,Mo.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Daniel, Thank you for your comment. You will need to contact the National Archives and ask them how you can find information that is not found in your personnel records. It’s possible the accident records were kept in separate files and never added to your personnel records. I m not certain how long those files would be maintained, or where they would be located. This is a question for the archivists at the National Archives.

      In some cases it is possible to create a claim in the absence of military records. But you would need to have a signed statement from individuals with knowledge of the situation. This is something you would need to research to ensure you have the required supporting documentation.

      I wish you the best and thank you for your service.

  9. Diane Goffard says

    Are airman photos from basic training that were published in hometown newspapers included in the serviceman’s personnel record?

  10. Melissa Rodriguez says

    My husband has been tying to retrieve his medical records with no success. He served in USMC from 92-95. We have tried so many resources with no luck. What can we do?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Melissa, Thank you for contacting me. The best course of action I know of is to contact the National Archives Military Personnel Records search office. Hopefully they can provide these records or point you in the right direction. You could also try contacting the USMC personnel HQ. I wish you both the best.

  11. Calex Thomas says

    I left the Army in 1990 and I was wondering if there is a way to get a copy of my DA Photo for the E-7 Selection board?

  12. Greg says

    Hello, were DD214s issued in 1953 for the Navy? Is there any way to request Navy medals earned during Korea without a DD214 since the Records Office has lost my Father’s Navy file?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Greg, Thank you for contacting me. To be honest I don’t know much about the history from the early 1950s. I believe in 1953 the DD Form 214 was used. But that was around the time the services were consolidating their forms.

      Here is a quote from the Archives.gov website: “The report of separation form issued in most recent years is the DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. Before January 1, 1950, several similar forms were used by the military services, including the WD AGO 53, WD AGO 55, WD AGO 53-55, NAVPERS 553, NAVMC 78PD, and the NAVCG 553.”

      I would contact the National Archives to see if they have a copy of these military records. Also note there was a major fire in the National Archives in 1973 that damaged many records. So it’s possible these records may no longer exist. I hope this is helpful.

  13. WENDELL PAYNE says

    My brother was at Camp Casey is Korea in 1969-70 on the DMZ. He is granted benefits for Agent Orange Compensation because of Type II Diabetes and Ischemic Heart Diease. His records were destroyed in the fire and has no way of proving he was on the DMZ at Casey. Any idea where else he could go to try and find this information? Thanks for any help you can give.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hello Wendell, Thank you for contacting me. Unfortunately, I don’t have a good way to get this information. The only thing I can think of is to see if there are any records for the units he was attached to, and if there are records of their movements or deployments. You may also contact the National Archives to see if they have any ideas on how this information may be sourced. I wish you and your brother the best in finding his records, and I wish your brother the best of health.

  14. Andrew says

    I’m trying to request my grandfathers service record. He was enlisted sometime in the late 60’s he died 10 years before I was born. I want to learn more about him as my family doesn’t have enough answers.

  15. Nancy says

    Ryan, Not many people at the VA know what AGR means. My question is how do I file for retirement now that I’m going to be 60 in a few short months? I was in more than twenty five years total from 1977-2004 when they discharged me instead of retirement yes it is honorable. I was never out of the military, during those years always NG, AR, or AGR for that entire time. I even have all (minus one) LES for all those years, and a retirement point sheet stating 25 years, 11 months, 6 days. I literally went a little crazy due to it and a lot of personal issues in my life, it wasn’t until recently that I am able to get my life and head back in a good place. Thank you for your help in advance.

  16. Sonjagela Johnson says

    Good Afternoon, I am looking for treatment service records for a veteran that had a problem in basic training 1992 (year). Please Help

  17. Brian says

    I received an “Honorable Discharge” from the USAF in 1997. I have tried to get my DD-214 replaced, but the The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) has only sent me a NA FORM 13038, “Certificate of Military Service,” and not a copy of my DD-214. What can I do to actually get a copy of my DD-214?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Brian, To be honest, I’m not sure. The NPRC maintains all service records, which should include your DD214. I would try making another military records request, and see if they send you a DD 214 this time. You could also try calling them and speaking to a customer service representative on the phone. Contacting the Air Force Personnel Center may be another option (though it’s possible they have already forwarded all of your records to the NPRC since it has been so long since you separated from the military). I hope this works. Best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  18. Taylor says

    I enlisted in the Navy in 1992. I went to Great Lakes, Michigan for basic training. Unfortunately I was given a general discharge due to a psychological exam before I completed training. My CC was completely surprised and literally told me that he noticed me early on and thought that I would rise up within the company. I was very disappointed and still hold on to a resentment because I felt the military life was a perfect fit.

    My point of inquiring is that I am currently looking to buy a home and the lender asked if I was a veteran. I quickly said no, but after I thought about it, I wondered if I did qualify for some benefits. I don’t have any records and I don’t remember hearing anything about early release, but I do remember a general discharge. I also received a check for my services.

    Just curious. Any help I could receive would so appriciated.

    • None says

      Taylor, My understanding is your type of discharge still makes you a veteran but there may be time requirements 120 days I think. You said you didn’t finish basic so likely were not in 120 days. Best option is to call the local VA. Either way you will need the DD-214 from NPRC.

  19. Ted Lucero says

    I am trying to reconstruct missing parts of my records orders and citations for my ArCom and Bronze Star. Both missing from St. Louis. I’d like to look else where but don’t know where. Any help would be appreciated

    • Ryan Guina says

      Ted, Thank you for contacting me. I don’t have a lot of information to go on. There was a large fire at the National Archives in 1973 (official National Archives page, more info at VA blog). If your records were in there, they may have been destroyed, or they may still be in the archives awaiting cataloging and treatment.

      Short of this, the best I can say is to go through your personal records to see what you can find. You could also try contacting your former units, or your parent branch of service to see if they still have records somewhere in their archives. That said, most units and service branches turn over records after a certain amount of time.

      I don’t have further information beyond this, and suggest looking for forums or other places where people may have written about their efforts to track down their missing military records. I wish you the best of luck, and thank you for your service!

  20. none says

    Thank you for the article Ryan. I read some of the questions. For Air Force retired, they keep your records for about 10 years at AF Personel Center. Then to the archives in St. Louis. It has been in the news that over 1,800 veterans records have been destroyed or lost within the last 5 years from the National Archives. These records should be moved and stored somewhere safer as St. Louis has become a very bad area. If your records are gone, get an attorney and present all documents you have to them in an attempt to recover your military past. IRS records, SSA records will document your service employment. Statement from people you served with may help too. Medal certificates, training certs, everything. Keep your documents safe.

  21. Hannah says

    Hello! I see that you marked next of kin for army to include the eldest grandchild. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing that listed anywhere else. Can you verify?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Hannah, Thank you for contacting me. Here is the reference: “For the Army, the NOK is defined as: the surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest sibling or eldest grandchild” (Source). I hope this helps!

      • Brandy says

        Ryan, So only the Eldest child can request records?
        Also, my father served in the Army but is now in prison. Is there way for the NOK to request the records since he is incapacitated? He is 4 states away and it would be very difficult to coordinate from prison. His wife had them when he was arrested, now they are gone.
        Advise?

  22. Mary Holmes says

    Hello. I’m unsure if you would be of any help with my situation. I was in the Air Force in 1993, and they took a military photo of myself and my squadron in basic training. Is there a way to retrieve those photos?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Mary, I have no idea if these photos are maintained anywhere. You can try contacting the public affairs office at Lackland AFB. They should be able to let you know if those photos were maintained in any long-term records. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

  23. cassie says

    I requested my records and got a reply that they do not have them. I got out feb 2012. Who do i contact now to get my dd214? My old base?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Cassie, Thank you for contacting me. Some branches of the military may keep them at their main personnel office for several years before they get sent to the National Archives. I believe this is how it works for the Air Force. I recommend searching for your branch of service + Personnel headquarters, or some similar term. Or just visit the site if you know it. There should be a contact phone number and an email address. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

    • ERNEST J BREAUX SR says

      Ryan – did the Air Force keep flight records, i.e. Date of flight, take off from and destination and time of flight. If the did I would like to Know how to obtain

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Ernest, I’m sure there are many flight records in the USAF archives. However, I’m not sure how to go about requesting a copy of those records. Also, some records are likely sensitive or classified information, depending on the mission and other details. In any case, I would start with the National Archives and see if they can point you in the right direction. If that doesn’t work, I would search around various Air Force sites to see if you can find a more likely organization that would have the records you are seeking. Best wishes!

  24. Robert Boydston says

    After many requests over the years my records are still missing at the National Archives.
    Do you know if the National Archives keeps a record of who signed out a vet’s records and where they could have been sent to, such as, another agency?

    • Ryan Guina says

      Robert, The National Archives doesn’t allow other agencies or people to “check out” someone’s records. If they have authorization to receive a copy, then the National Archives will give a copy to the individual or organization. They are very strict about who has access to records, and who does not. Even family members are limited to how much information they can receive without authorization from the veteran.

      Regarding the unavailability of your records – there could be an explanation. There was a massive fire at the National Archives in 1973. If you served before then, your records may have been damaged or destroyed. If this is the case, it may be nearly impossible to get your records replaced. I recommend contacting the National Archives and asking them why they cannot find your records, and request an answer in writing.

  25. Gary Hollowell says

    I don’t understand why everyone didn’t do as they were required after service to put a copy of their DD-214 in their local County Court House. If I need a copy of mine that’s where I go.

    And as for Insurance – we didn’t pay anything in to it. It was life insurance and if you lived you don’t get anything back when you get out.

    I volunteered several years for the D.A.V. helping Vets get help through the V.A.

    And to Sheri above, Yes he is a Veteran. I spent 3 years in the Army and 6 years in the National Guard. no matter what they served in they are Vets.

    • Ryan Guina says

      Gary, it is no longer required to file a copy of your DD 214 with your local county court house. In fact, some people recommend against doing it because it may be possible for people to look up your DD 214 and get personally identifying information such as your SSN, date of birth, and other details you wouldn’t want made public.

  26. Geraldo Callis says

    I was talking to someone in the VA hospital about the money we paid into our insurance if we service. Well I service from 1971 to 1991 but other then that man telling me in the VA hospital I have not seen or hear anything . Have you hear anything about this. If the army or government has money for me I can use it. Can you check into this for me . Geraldo Callis thinking you now

    • Ryan Guina says

      Geraldo, I don’t know what he is referring to. Your best bet is to meet with a benefits counselor at the VA or at a Veterans Service Organization such as the VFW, DAV, American Legion, etc. They will help you understand which benefits you are eligible to receive. Best of luck, and thanks for your service!

    • Charles Burgess says

      Hello Ryan, I lost my Marine Corps Bootcamp Yearbook. Is there a place I can replace it? I know all the information I need to help with this search. Charles Burgess.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Hello Charles, I do not believe the military maintains previous copies of Bootcamp yearbooks. The best I can tell you is to contact the National Archives in St Louis, MO. This is the organization that maintains most military records. They may be able to provide more information or confirm whether or not the military maintains copies of these books. Best wishes.

  27. Doc Rick says

    Dear Ryan,
    A great co-worker and Pharmacy classmate was put in for the NAVY CROSS near in time to the Khe Sahn battle. I worked for the VA Hospital for 5 years and learned much about the battle from first hand people!
    My friend recovered an injured Marine in a minefield (after sliding past 4 mines on a hill). He was later called into the General’s tent; given a cold beer and told he was being put in for the Navy Cross since the General actually saw his actions. The problem is “the paperwork got lost” and he was such a hero he didn’t care much about it. He cared more about getting a Christmas card from a Lt. he saved with a blown off left shoulder.
    My question is How do I get him his medal-for his family? Larry passed on 4 years ago and I would just like to do it for 1Family and 2 History. Thank You!
    Sincerely, Derfly

  28. Sheri says

    Hi I am wondering if my husband is considered a veteran…He was in the National Guard for 6 years from 1971-1977 but never actually went overseas or fought in the war. He says he doesnt think he would be considered one since he never actually fought in combat. Is that true?? Thanks.

  29. Daniel Cutler says

    I remember, but cannot find, receiving mail indicating my discharge status was changed from “General under Honorable” to “Honorable”.

    Will this be modified on my DD-214 if I request a copy? If not, what document should I request?

    If my memory is incorrect, and my status has not changed, what form can I request for status change application?

  30. PHIL GROSSKOPF says

    I HAVE TRIED THREE TIMES TWO GET MY PROOF OF MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS [DD 214] BACK IN ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. AND RECEIVED A LETTER BACK FROM SCOTT LEVINS, DIRECTOR FOR MILITARY RECORDS. I HAVE GIVEN HIM MY SERVICE NUMBER, A COPY OF MY IDENTIFICATION CARD, SHOT RECORDS. WHERE I ENLISTED AND WHERE I WAS DISCHARGED ETC. HE WROTE ME AND SAID I WAS NEVER IN THE SERVICE. WHAT CAN I DO???

    • Ryan Guina says

      Phil, The National Archives are generally the place where all official military records are maintained. If your records were destroyed in the National Archives Fire of 1973, then you may have to find another way to prove your service. It’s possible that records were maintained at a base or state level, or in another place. I recommend contacting former installations or the records management division of the state where you served (if you served in the Guard).

      Other than that, you may try to locate old tax returns pay stubs, or other official documentation that proves you served.

      Best of luck, and thanks for your service.

      • PHIL GROSSKOPF says

        THANKS RYAN, I SPENT MY TIME AFTER BASIC TRAINING AT FORT ORD AND WAS THEN STATIONED AT FORT SAM HOUSTON, SAN ANTONIO TX. 347TH GENERAL HOSP. WHO CAN I CONTACT THERE FOR RECORDS> THANKS RYAN.

      • Ryan Guina says

        Phil, you will need to contact the National Archives for your records. If they were involved in the Fire of 1973, then you will need to try contacting the bases to see if they still have your records. Not all bases maintain records after a certain time frame. I don’t have a specific address or POC for individual bases. You will need to contact them for more specific information.

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