In our modern age of digital copies and cloud storage, it’s hard to believe some records are really unattainable. Yet, that’s what many older veterans are told when requesting a copy of their military service records from the National Archives. Why?
Because on July 12th of 1973, the unthinkable happened.
A fire broke out at the Military Personnel Records Center (now more commonly called the National Personnel Records Center, or NPRC) just outside of St. Louis, Missouri and burned for roughly four days before being declared out on July 16th.
As a result, an estimated 16 to 18 million Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) were lost completely, since no paper or microfilm copies had been made. Those records, which included millions of DD214s, belonged primarily to Army veterans who served between November of 1912 and January of 1960, and Air Force veterans who served between September of 1947 and January of 1964.
However, if yours were among the records burned in the 1973 National Archives fire, all is not lost.
A request can be submitted to the NPRC for any other military service records the government may have on file for you (or your family member, if you are making the request as their next-of-kin). These may include medical records, unit records, and other paperwork that can help piece together a picture of your time spent in the military.
Using this information, it may be possible to reconstruct a portion of your service records so that, even if you don’t have a copy of your DD214, you can still provide proof of service to apply for a VA home loan, receive your disability benefits, or take advantage of other opportunities reserved for U.S. military veterans.
And if you served later than those dates, it still pays to be prepared.
It’s been said that the number of records destroyed and lives affected by the 1973 National Archives fire outnumber any other similar catastrophe in U.S. history.
Because you never know when disaster may strike, and because veterans are often asked to provide proof of service, it pays to make sure you have a copy of your DD214 on hand at all times.
When you have some free time, do yourself a favor and look through your important documents. If you discover that you never received your DD214, or that it’s been lost or damaged, you may want to order a copy of your DD214 so that you have it the next time you need it.
Veteran-owned DD214Direct can help you get the documents you need, when you need them.
Our cutting-edge technology platform and keen knowledge of government protocol and procedure allow us to deliver your documents faster than competitors. We physically stand in line at the records repository and manually coordinate your order, freeing up your time and easing your worries about whether or not you will get your DD214. Much like paying a small fee to have your taxes done by a professional, DD214Direct provides the service and convenience you’ve been hoping for, plus we make it a lot easier.
Instead of having to download, print, sign and fax your document request form, you can submit your order directly through our website with the ease of e-signature technology from a desktop, laptop or mobile device. Once we locate your DD214, we will email you a copy immediately—a service not offered by the government. And tracking your request through us is simple, so you never have to worry about long hold times and inconclusive answers.
Ready to get started? Click here to begin the order process.