The most important document to a veteran is discharge papers, also called a DD214 beginning during the Korean War. This document begins the process of obtaining every benefit earned because an individual served our country, including the final benefits of a flag on the coffin and taps. Even your final death certificate cannot be properly completed without a copy of the document showing your service. It is therefore important that such a document be available and retrievable by you or your survivors. A benefit to you as a veteran is that you have the right under Massachusetts General Law to place a copy of your discharge paper with your VSO for safe keeping (in the event your copy is lost, stolen, or destroyed by fire, flood, etc.).
If you went into service from Massachusetts, we may be able to retrieve your discharge paper on line from the Mass Adjutant Generals Office. An individual who has served in the military may also retrieve all or portions of his records from the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St Louis, MO or by calling 508-233-7780 Option 1. If you already have a copy, we recommend a copy be filed with us so that a backup is readily available.
If you are attempting to obtain military records for yourself, please allow this office to assist and guide you in obtaining them. If you are attempting to retrieve information on a deceased veteran, we may be able to assist, but you must be a direct relative, and you must bring with a copy of the death certificate which NPRC requires to release information to other than the veteran.