FamilyOfaVet - Real world info about PTSD, TBI, & life after combat
FamilyOfaVet - Real World info about PTSD, TBI, & life after combat.

Getting Copies of Military Records

When filing for any Veteran-related benefit, you're likely to need copies of military service
or medical records.  Ideally, you should get copies of everything before leaving the

Getting Records from the National Archives

Through the National Archives Military Personnel Records Department you can get copies
of your DD214 (proof of military service) and other service and medical records.  The
process is pretty straight forward.  As a Veteran or the next-of-kin of a Veteran, you can

(1) Fill out a SF-180 (
CLICK HERE to download) and fax it to 314-801-9195or by mail it to:

National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO 63132-5100

(2) Fill out the SF-180 online (
CLICK HERE to go to that site) and then print out and fax or
mail in the signature page within 20 days of your online request (using the same fax
number and mailing address above).

The National Archives may not have your medical records.  In our case, and in the case
of many Veterans, medical records are held by the VA.

Getting Records from the Veterans Administration

Many people who are new to the Veterans Administration don't realize that the medical
side of the VA and the claims (disability compensation) side of the VA are actually two
separate organizations within the VA.  Normally, active duty medical records are held by
the part of the VA that handles claims.  To get a copy from them, you'll need to find your
closest Veterans Administration Regional Office (VARO).  
CLICK HERE to go to the VA's
facility locator and find your local office.  Then send them a letter that says you are
requesting a copy of all records pertaining to you that they have on file (this is sometimes
known as your "C File" or "Case File").

If you have received any treatment through the VA (medical side), you'll need to request
those records from the "Release of Information" office at your local VA Medical Center
(VAMC).  To do that, send a letter to your VAMC (find it by
attention of the "Release of Information Office" that says your requesting a copy of all of
your treatment records.  You're entitled to one free copy of every "treatment record" (a
phrase the VA often uses... it means the same thing as "Medical Records").

To be on the safe side, it doesn't hurt to just request the information from both the VA
and the National Archives.  You'll get copies of what they have, and if they don't have
anything, they'll send a letter telling you just that.
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