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DMVA assists veterans with securing military paperwork
Times Leader - 7/6/2022
Jul. 5--WILKES-BARRE -- Brig. Gen. (PA) Maureen Weigl, deputy adjutant general for Veterans Affairs, Tuesday said the Pennsylvania Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA) works tirelessly to assist veterans with locating their lost "DD Form 214" military paperwork so they can receive credit for time served.
Weigl said the DD-214 is a Department of Defense document, issued upon a service member's retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces. It contains information needed to verify military service for benefits, retirement, employment, and membership in veterans' organizations. Without this key document, there could be a big delay when veterans seek benefits earned through their service to our nation.
For veterans who have lost their DD-214, or family members who cannot locate it on a veteran's behalf, Weigl said the DMVA is always ready to assist in retrieving an official copy.
"We assist thousands of Pennsylvania veterans every year, but the No. 1 request we receive is for help locating a lost DD-214," Weigl said. "The DMVA realizes how important the DD-214 is to those who served, so we leave no stone unturned when searching for this paperwork."
Weigl said the DMVA can also assist with locating the DD-215, which is used to correct errors or make additions to a DD-214, helping to assure that veterans have accurate discharge documentation.
Weigl said that the easiest way to manage military documents and avoid having to frantically search for them is to make sure they are filed in a safe place immediately upon leaving the military.
"There is a lot to think about when separating from the military, but one thing that should be top of mind for transitioning service members is safeguarding their DD-214," Weigl said. "The best place for safekeeping this information is at the county courthouse Prothonotary's Office. Regardless, veterans who need help looking for their military paperwork should never hesitate to contact the DMVA for assistance."
Anyone needing assistance from the DMVA to locate their DD-214/215, or other military documentation, can call toll-free -- 1-800-547-2838 -- or e-mail RA-REQ@pa.gov. More information about locating military documents can be found by visiting the Records Request Program.
Virtual Town Hall on resources for homeless vets
The Pennsylvania DMVA will host the third in a five-part series of virtual Veteran Town Halls on July 13, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
The town hall will focus on resources for homeless veterans.
Weigl, along with Bill Reed, director of Veteran Services, Harrisburg YWCA; and Micah Snead, chairman, Homeless Veteran Committee, Governor's Advisory Council for Veterans Services will discuss topics that include the federal VA Supportive Services for Veterans and Families (SSVF) program, Pennsylvania Continuums of Care (CoCs) and veteran homelessness initiatives within the commonwealth.
Attendees can participate by using this Microsoft Teams Link. Participants will have the opportunity to ask questions of the presenters live during the program through the chat feature.
"U.S. military veterans are estimated to make up around 11 percent of homeless adults," Weigl said. "This simply should not be, especially with so many resources available to veterans and their families. This town hall will bring awareness to programs and services available to homeless veterans, with a hope of getting them into an affordable home where they can live with dignity, comfort and pride."
Weigl said the town hall series provides the commonwealth's nearly 800,000 veterans with a convenient platform to learn and ask questions about programs and services earned through their military service.
The following are the dates, times and topics for the two remaining 2022 Virtual Veteran Town Hall events:
Sept. 14, 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. -- Transportation Issues Facing Veterans.
Nov. 2, 5 p.m.-6:30 p.m. -- Honoring Veterans for Their Service and Sacrifice.
Reach Bill O'Boyle at 570-991-6118 or on Twitter @TLBillOBoyle.
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