Every day at the National Archives, we fulfill veterans’ requests for copies of their military records that document their service to our country. The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis, MO is an office of the National Archives, which has over 80 million permanent records and receives over 5,000 requests for military records every day.
In celebration of Veterans Day, we created a video that helps explain the process of applying for military records. Watch the video to learn more about this important service we offer to veterans and their families.
On one of my first trips as Archivist of the United States, I visited the NPRC. I learned about the employees who do this work, the importance of the records in our holdings, and the process to fulfill requests for copies of records. I got a tour of the VIP vault, where the records of well known individuals are kept, including Elvis Presley, Clark Gable, Ronald Reagan, and General George S. Patton.
During my tour of NPRC, I did not expect the staff to present me with the records of my time in the Navy as a hospital corpsman during the Vietnam War. It was a very thoughtful gesture by the staff of the NPRC.
A portion of the cover of my military service records
The National Archives’ employees understand how crucial their responsibilities are to veterans. Recently, they assisted the son of World War II veteran, Walter Pierce. The son had walked into a regional National Archives facility with a letter dated May 1946, recommending his father for the Bronze Star. The medal had never been awarded and the son wondered whether there was an oversight or had the recommendation not been approved.
Staff at the NPRC made this case a priority and found additional documentation. Through our efforts, it was determined that he was entitled to the Bronze Star. Just two days after his 100th birthday and 63 years after the recommendation was written, in a ceremony arranged by the staff, local Army officials presented Walter Pierce with his Bronze Star.
Their expression of honor for veterans is an example for us all.
How are you honoring veterans today?
For More Information:
- Visit http://www.archives.gov/veterans to learn more about how veterans and their families can request copies of their military service records