Navy magazine is distributed on Capitol Hill,the Pentagon and naval bases around the world. It provides information that impacts Sailors, their families and the Navy. Navy is published quarterly by the Association of the United States Navy (AUSN).

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12 Navy | Fall/Winter 2017 SHIPMATES' SYMPOSIUM T he United States Department of Defense DD Form 214, Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, is one of the most valuable documents when a Veteran is in need of assistance. e AUSN Military and Veterans Benefits team has received a number of calls from spouses and adult children of Veterans who face challenges of helping a parent or a surviving spouse in crisis. In almost every case, when trying to arrange the best support for their loved one, surviving family members hear this from a potential care provider: "Was your parent a military Veteran? Do you have the required proof of service so we can help determine eligibility for any benefits in their current situation?" For a spouse who may not have been part of the Veteran's life during their military service, or an adult child who has no experience with the world of military and Veteran support systems, this can be a very complex and daunting puzzle. We at AUSN have spent hours on the phone with many families as they searched through their Veteran's boxes of paperwork, desperate for a copy of the last-issued DD Form 214. Sadly, it is oen never located, or worse, found much too late. Sometimes a copy can be made available if their Veteran was a member of a local American Legion or VFW and a copy is on file with either organization. Unfortunately, the situation usually comes down to one of two options. First, try working with a fee-charging expediter, who may be able to assist in acquiring a copy in a shorter timeframe. Or second, by utilizing an online application to request a copy of the Veteran's DD Form 214 from the National Archives. To acquire a certified copy of a DD From 214 from the Archives can take up to two weeks or even longer. ere are a number of situations where having Where is Your DD 214? Make Sure Family and Loved Ones Know Elder Care When a Veteran or surviving spouse becomes 'housebound' or is admitted to an elder care facility they may qualify for financial support from the Veterans Adminis- tration. ISTOCKPHOTO

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