Maloney, Comer Lead Bipartisan Letter Urging Defense Department to Assist National Archives with Addressing Backlog of Veterans’ Records
Washington D.C. (May 20, 2021)—Today, Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney and Ranking Member James Comer; Government Operations Subcommittee Chairman Gerald E. Connolly and Ranking Member Jody Hice; National Security Subcommittee Chairman Stephen F. Lynch and Ranking Member Glenn Grothman; House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano and Ranking Member Mike Bost; Economic Opportunity Subcommittee Chairman Mike Levin; and Disability Assistance and Memorial Affairs Subcommittee Chairwoman Elaine Luria sent a letter to Department of Defense (DOD) Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III asking him to prioritize a National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) request for assistance with addressing the backlog of veterans’ records requests at the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).
“Veterans and their families depend on timely access to personnel records in order to receive life-saving medical care, emergency housing assistance, proper military burials, and other vital benefits earned through service to our country. We urge DOD to support the NPRC’s work and to ensure that we uphold our solemn pledge to care for our nation’s veterans.”
According to NARA, many of the records housed at the NPRC exist only in paper form and cannot be accessed remotely. While NARA has been able to address emergency requests, since workplace restrictions were implemented last year in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the NPRC has been unable to process thousands of other requests for veterans records.
On May 10, 2021, NARA Chief Operating Officer William J. Bosanko wrote a letter to DOD requesting assistance for pandemic recovery operations at the NPRC. Specifically, NARA is requesting support to conduct off-site sorting and batching of military personnel folders for refiling and on-site searching and retrieval of veterans’ records, as well as assistance with digitizing separation documents that veterans depend on to demonstrate their eligibility for federal benefits.
Click here to read the letter to DOD.