A DD214 is a veteran's military discharge or separation papers. If a veteran is deceased, it is possible for the veteran's relatives to receive a copy of the DD214, but only the veteran's next of kin can make this request. The request needs to include the deceased veteran's full name, Social Security number, dates of service, branch of service, place of discharge and your reason for making the request. Once the request form is filled out, signed and submitted, you will be sent the DD214.
Make sure you are the deceased service member's next of kin. The next of kin is typically a parent, child, sibling or a surviving spouse who has not remarried.
Visit the veterans page of Archives.gov (see Resources). At this website you can create your request form to receive the deceased veteran's DD214. Once the request form is created, you'll need to print it out, sign it and mail it.
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Click on "Request Military Records" at the bottom of the Archives.gov page. Notice that the Privacy Act of 1974 compliance information appears on your screen. Read this information before continuing. Then click "Continue."
Read through the three drop-down menus that appear on the screen and select the options that relate to the deceased veteran or yourself from each menu. For example, you should choose "Next of Kin of Deceased Veteran" when asked who you are. Click "Continue."
Continue answering questions when the next window appears. Be sure the answers are appropriate for the deceased veteran. When you've completed all the questions, click "Continue."
Fill in the form that appears on the next page. You'll need to provide the deceased relative's personal and military information, including his name, date of birth, place of birth, service number, Social Security number and when he was discharged or separated from the service. Once the information is filled in, click "Continue."
Type in "DD214" on the next page when asked what documents you're requesting. Click "Continue."
Enter your full address on the next page. The military will be sending the requested DD214 to that address. Click "Continue."
Print out the request form that is created. Sign and date the form in the verification section.
Mail the signed and dated request form to the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, at 9700 Page Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, 63132-5100. Make sure you include your return address. You can also fax it to the National Personnel Records Center at 314-801-9195. You will receive the DD214 in the mail after your request is processed.
- pen and paper image by Melissa Schalke from Fotolia.com