The veteran's full name should be printed or typed so that it can be read clearly, but the request must also contain the signature of the next of kin if the veteran is deceased. Include branch of service, service number or Social Security number, and exact or approximate dates and years of service. Use Standard Form 180, "Request Pertaining to Military Records", which is available from VA offices and some veterans' organizations.
It is not necessary to request a duplicate copy of a veteran's discharge or separation papers solely for the purpose of filing a claim for VA benefits. If complete information about the veteran's service is furnished on the application for benefits, the VA will obtain verification of service from the National Personnel Records Center or the service department concerned.
In a medical emergency, information from a veteran's records may be obtained by phoning the appropriate service; Army at 314-538-4261; Air Force at 314-538-4243; Navy, Marine Corps or Coast Guard at 314-538-4141.