Since 2014, almost 2,000 Delaware County military veterans have filed their discharge papers (DD214) with the Delaware County Recorder’s Office and replaced them with a veteran’s identification card.
This week during the 2019 Delaware County Fair, the Recorder’s Office is offering the service to all veterans who stop by its booth in the Coliseum.
Delaware County Recorder Melissa Jordan said it’s important for veterans to file their DD214.
“If they don’t file it for safekeeping and something happens to them, and their document is lost or destroyed, their surviving heirs would have a very big challenge getting a hold of that document,” she said. “This way we can provide them with a document giving their heirs access to the benefits earned by the veteran for them after passing.”
Jordan said the Recorder’s Office is the official depository for discharge papers in the county. However, she said the only way her office can release the documentation is if it requested by next of kin or via a court order.
“It is not a typical public record for 75 years after the filing date,” she said.
Jordan said filing the DD214 is easy and only takes a few minutes to complete.
“Then once you have a valid discharge on file, we take your picture, fill out your information, and give you a card,” she said. “Doing little outreaches like this at the fair is more than spreading the word, it’s more about making sure we’re available.”
Jordan said another part of having a veteran ID card is it memorializes the veteran’s service. She said that some groups of veterans don’t have access to portable documents. They continue to carry their discharge papers around in their wallets.
“The card is much more durable and easy to carry,” she said. “Another benefit is that veterans also get discounts when they show their ID.”
Jordan said a veteran recently told her that he used his ID out of state, which allowed him to get in on a free tour.
Clanci Nelson, a member of Jordan’s staff, said there has been a lot of positive feedback about the veteran ID program.
“The veterans are awesome, because they always have a great story of the time they served,” she said. “We file the DD214 and that will be on record in our office forever. If they ever need a replacement copy of their DD214, they can get a certified copy. It acts as good as their original.”
Filing a DD214 with the Recorder’s Office free, and the cost to have an ID card made is $1.
If veterans can’t make it to the fair, Jordan said the service is available all year long.
“We do this every day of the week in our office, so if you miss us here, come into the Delaware County Recorder’s Office, Monday–Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.,” Jordan said.
The office is located at 145 N. Union St., Delaware.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.