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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Military Lawyer
Category: Military Law
Satisfied Customers: 34976
Experience:  Retired Marine Corps lawyer and Veterans Services Officer (VSO) with 12+ yrs. of experience.
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Dear Attorneys,Sadly, I have not been blessed with a lot

Resolved Question:

Dear Attorneys, Sadly, I have not been blessed with a lot of common sense, and I am not very smart overall, so therefore I must defer to the expertise of an attorney in order to obtain accurate information and/or explanations to rely upon. I recently sent a completed VA Form 180 (Request For Military Discharge Record -- DD-214) to the Department Of The Navy Records Center in order to formally and officially request a copy of my father's WWII Honorable Discharge. The original has been lost and thus a replacement document is required in order for my mother to apply for a certain benefit that is available to surviving spouses. The Department of The Navy Records Center sent me a letter which stated that my father's records could not be found and therefore I could obtain no copy of a non-existent record. I am presently perplexed and wondering how such a thing can possibly happen, and then be allowed to go uncorrected? My father served honorably in WWII and my mother deserves the survivor benefits she is entitled to and currently requires so that she can remain a resident of the senior assisted-living community in which she presently lives, but how can she qualify sans the DD-214 honorable discharge document she so desperately needs to make everything work-out like it is supposed to work-out for her? Is there some kind of a "Catch-22" nightmare scenario of a circumstance occurring here? Must she remain in limbo just because of Navy Department incompetence in locating official records? What can I do from this point forward to rectify this horrific situation and make things right? Please advise. Thanks in advance for attending to timely satisfaction of this information request. Sincerely, XXXXX
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Military Law
Expert:  P. Simmons replied 5 years ago.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years military law experience.

Actually, you would want to start with the National Archives to request military records. The Department of the Navy releases records to the National Archives after a Sailor is discharged.

I would start with a request to the National Archives.

Here is the link

There was a fire at the National Archives in 1973 and many records were destroyed...if your fathers were among the records destroyed, you will want to take steps to recreate the records. For this you will need some evidence that he served. One example could be a letter (affidavit) from folks he served with. Or any other proof that shows he served with the Navy.

With this, you can apply to the Navy to have a new DD214 issued.

P. Simmons and 2 other Military Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Dear Sir,

Thank you very much for a timely response and the pertinent information. It is a terrible thing indeed for myriad records to have been destroyed -- so many deserved survivor benefits that may end-up not having to be obligated -- such a shame....what a way to conserve funding monies....I wonder whom among the 1973 congressional braintrust thought-up that clever fire scheme.....brilliant!!! (albeit evil) ..... I'm surprised that the current administration and/or congress is not savvy nor ballsy enough to come-up with vile clever budgetary money-saving actions like the aforementioned successful "fire-destroying-records" scheme that was carried-out in 1973 (LOL) !!!!!!!

I must confess at this juncture, that both my frail 90-year-old pacemaker carrying & Alzheimer's Disease stricken mother, and myself as well -- a 59-year-old mentally-ill, diabetic, & recent triple-bypass-open-heart surgery survivor -- are very unfortunate to begin with....and now this news about the 1973 fire and attendant records destruction does indeed represent yet another formidable daunting blow and a definite burdensome hardship for us to face on the road ahead, in-terms of obtaining her deserved and desperately needed Veterans Aid & Attendance benefits to be utilized for the purpose of providing considerable funding to the degree necessary for allowing her to continue living at the senior assisted-living Alzheimer's community in which she currently resides.

Along with my previously stated propensity for being lacking in common sense and not very smart overall, please add "unlucky" to the list.....pathetic, yes I know.....however, it just happens to be accurate.....which is not good at all !!! Oh, Drat !!!!

Thanks again for providing timely information. Take good care of you & yours, and be well always.

Brightest Blessings,