your records been lost stolen, destroyed
or just got up on their own two legs and
you found a mistake in them?
Well if so, here's
how to correct the problem and you should correct
it now. Not later when you need it, say at a VA
hospital or a bank to get a home loan. Since the
only two sure things we know about for sure are
death and taxes, your family is going to need
them when you die for veterans burial benefits.
First don't go to the VA looking for them. Unless
you were discharged after 1973 and then only a
small part of your records are at the VA. The VA
is not the keeper of your records. They do have
records for those veterans who have applied for
some VA benefit but usually only the records they
needed. Your military records and all veterans
records are handled by the National Personnel
Records Center which is part of the National
Archives. Each service has a section in their
operation in Saint Louis where 98% of all
veterans records are stored. The good news is
that they will send you a copy of everything they
have on you. If you request it.
However for many
of you especially World War II veterans there is
some bad news. They had a fire back in the 70's
that destroyed almost 80% of the records of US
Army veterans who served between 1912 and January
1, 1960. Also, Air Force veteran records from
1947 to January 1, 1964 with family names from
Hubbard to Z were destroyed. What do you do? Skip
the next few paragraphs and go to plan B. However
for the rest of us over 50,000,000 that they have
records on file for keep reading.
To get yours you
need a SF180 which you can download from our download
can also get the SF180 from VA offices or your
local county veterans office.
When you get it
fill it out as completely as possible. Pay
especially close attention to service numbers. If
you where in when each service had their own be
sure to include those along with your social
security number. On the back of the form find the
exact address where you should submit it. Then
mail it there. If you have a couple of bucks to
spare then stop by a post office and mail it
certified mail. That way you know for sure if
they get it.
Then sit back and
wait. It can take as long as four months to get a
response. If you didn't fill the form out right
or as complete as you should you will get back
instead of your records another form telling you
what information they still need to find your
records. No they are not stupid it is just that
with over 50 million records there are a whole
lot having the same name, even an unusual name.
OOP's you got them and found a mistake on them or
there has been one there on the copies you have
that you didn't know how to fix. Well correcting
them is not that hard. It takes time though, so
if you start this I suggest you read about Job in
the Old Testament, after getting your records
corrected you can tell folks Job had it easyJ.
There is no form
for the correction of records. Also we are
talking about errors in the records not trying to
get your less than honorable discharge upgraded.
If that is the case you need to see your county
veterans officer as this is something that can't
be dealt with in one web session.
Enter our download
download the Information Pack "Your
Records." This spells out everything you
need to do in detail. Follow the directions there
and hang in.
Plan B. Let's face it, when dealing with our
government (actually any government) you need a
plan B. Ok your records where those lost in the
fire. Well they can do some things for you in the
way of verifying service and your status when
discharged. Go over to our download
download the Information Pack entitled "Your
it closely as its' information is based upon what
has succeeded in getting records replaced or at
least your military service verified. Now or
later you may need this information. For a job
requirement now or later for burial benefits to
assist your family and military honors at your
funeral. In any case
Don't read here
until you are done there.
have your records? Good, here is what you should
do. Go immediately to
the closest VA Center and register.
less than an hour and you get a beautiful photo
ID that has established your access to VA
Benefits. It also helps the VA when they request
their budget each year.
win-win situation. The VA has a better data base
to base it's budget on and you have a ID card
that proves you are a vet.
VA benefits are not free benefits. You have paid
for them with a currency worth far more than
money. You paid by your service!
VA then read the notice on the left about
and protect your records!