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Military Service Record Lost


Mikemmlj

Question

The VA has been unable to obtain my Military Service Record. I have requested one myself. A Disabled American Veterans rep. Told me that it's not uncommon for the military to "lose" records in MST claims. Any advice appreciated.

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You are unable to get any of your service records? May I ask what year you were in the service?

I was lucky enough to work in a unit where I managed medical and service records so I always made copies of my own records. This was in 1976, nearly 40 years ago. When I requested a copy of my military service record 10 years ago I did not receive everything that I had copies of. You can draw your own conclusions from that. There was a warehouse fire, which the VA and military claims destroyed many records, which might explain your situation. Regardless, you need to push for an explanation as to why your records are no longer available.

At some point you may also want to consider a lawyer. There are undoubtedly some legal responsibilities the military has to you, which a lawyer can explain in more detail, about burden of proof. Have you talked to your veteran services rep about this?

Good luck with your search.

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If you are claiming PTSD based on MST then VA is required by law to accept alternative records.

here's what the regulations say:

(5) If a posttraumatic stress disorder claim is based on in-service personal assault, evidence from sources other than the veteran's service records may corroborate the veteran's account of the stressor incident. Examples of such evidence include, but are not limited to: records from law enforcement authorities, rape crisis centers, mental health counseling centers, hospitals, or physicians; pregnancy tests or tests for sexually transmitted diseases; and statements from family members, roommates, fellow service members, or clergy.

Evidence of behavior changes following the claimed assault is one type of relevant evidence that may be found in these sources. Examples of behavior changes that may constitute credible evidence of the stressor include, but are not limited to: a request for a transfer to another military duty assignment; deterioration in work performance; substance abuse; episodes of depression, panic attacks, or anxiety without an identifiable cause; or unexplained economic or social behavior changes.

VA will not deny a posttraumatic stress disorder claim that is based on in-service personal assault without first advising the claimant that evidence from sources other than the veteran's service records or evidence of behavior changes may constitute credible supporting evidence of the stressor and allowing him or her the opportunity to furnish this type of evidence or advise VA of potential sources of such evidence. VA may submit any evidence that it receives to an appropriate medical or mental health professional for an opinion as to whether it indicates that a personal assault occurred.

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Mikemmlj, please let us know how your claim is going. I am in the process of helping a veteran with a claim and his military records have not been located either. We are going to go on and file his claim in the hope that his jobs (11B/infantryman, Airborne status, and Army wrestleing team) will give VA the right to give the veteran the benefit of the doubt on his back, knees, ankles, and TBI issues.

Good luck on your claim.

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You are unable to get any of your service records? May I ask what year you were in the service?

I was lucky enough to work in a unit where I managed medical and service records so I always made copies of my own records. This was in 1976, nearly 40 years ago. When I requested a copy of my military service record 10 years ago I did not receive everything that I had copies of. You can draw your own conclusions from that. There was a warehouse fire, which the VA and military claims destroyed many records, which might explain your situation. Regardless, you need to push for an explanation as to why your records are no longer available.

At some point you may also want to consider a lawyer. There are undoubtedly some legal responsibilities the military has to you, which a lawyer can explain in more detail, about burden of proof. Have you talked to your veteran services rep about this?

Good luck with your search.

Supposedly the destroyed records were Army records, not Navy. That didn't stop the cannot find bit for records that were/are "misfiled" etc. Recently, there was a move from an older building to a new one. I have no idea what that will do.

Edited by Chuck75
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My claim ended with 100% non-permanent with aid and attendance and Supervised Direct Pay , also SSDI. I am deciding now if I think I will get well enough to eventually return to school/work. But the panic attacks continue Along with everything else.

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