VET­ER­ANS POST

The Weekly Vista - - Fun & Games -

Get­ting your medals

Maybe all you wanted at the time was to get out, to leave the ser­vice and not look back. But now, with the pas­sage of years, per­haps you want the medals you earned and never re­ceived.

If that’s you, there are steps you can take to get what you earned. The more time that’s passed, the more dif­fi­cult it might be, but it can still be done, es­pe­cially if you have your orig­i­nal pa­per­work.

Go on­line to ve­trecs.ar­chives.gov and click on Re­place­ment Medals. You’ll be taken to eVetRec or you can click Mail or Fax

to get the Stan­dard Form 180 (SF-180). Both vet­er­ans and next of kin can use this form.

If you’re go­ing to ap­ply by mail, you’ll need to be ser­vice spe­cific in your re­quest. Not only are there dif­fer­ent mail­ing ad­dresses, but de­pend­ing on the ser­vice and whether you’re a vet­eran or next of kin, the re­quest for re­place­ment medals will ei­ther be free … or not. To learn the de­tails about who can re­quest re­place­ment medals, go on­line to ar­chives.gov and search for Mil­i­tary Awards and Dec­o­ra­tions.

You best bet, how­ever, is to use the eVetRec link. Have all

your in­for­ma­tion in hand when you start an­swer­ing the ques­tions. You’ll need your DD-214,

and some of the in­for­ma­tion on it, in­clud­ing your ser­vice num­ber, So­cial Se­cu­rity num­ber, place of birth and date you left the ser­vice. If you don’t have your sep­a­ra­tion pa­pers, ap­ply for them at the eVetRec link.

It gets com­pli­cated if you were in more than one ser­vice or if you were both en­listed and of­fi­cer. The drop-down menus only al­low one choice.

If you need help, call the Na­tional Records Cen­ter in St. Louis at 314-801-0800. They don’t is­sue the medals but can help you with the pa­per­work.

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