Recently the Department of Veterans Affairs – National Cemetery Administration shared the following communique, addressed to funeral directors, regarding the operational status of the National Personnel Records Center.
Dear Funeral Directors:
We are asking for your assistance. As you may be aware, the government’s primary repository for military personnel records, the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), has been closed to the public since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The National Personnel Record Center is now beginning to expand available services to customers.
While this is a positive step, NPRC continues to have a significant backlog of military record requests. To support NPRC’s service delivery efforts and reduce duplicative requests for the same record, the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) is asking our funeral home partners to encourage families to work directly with funeral homes for assistance with burial in our VA national cemeteries. In working together to reduce the number of requests or duplicate submissions, NPRC can focus on delivering records to customers more efficiently.
We ask you to request family members continue to search for any additional military documents which may be in their possession. Documents kept by the Veteran may be the only documents available at this time to verify his or her eligibility for burial.
We also encourage you to ask family members to check the following:
- Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) such as the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) or the American Legion. These organizations may have discharge documents on file for members.
- Any orders the service member may have received or any documents showing a military service number would be helpful.
- County clerk of the county where the service member would have returned from service. The service member may have filed their documents with the county upon discharge from military service.
- If the service member has a set of dog tags, please send a clear photograph of them to our agency.
We thank you for your assistance.