Some things are worth exploring further

August 5th 2022

Recently while going through my father’s final possessions and paperwork that I have been safely keeping at my house under a big brown piece of fabric I found a multi-page document from the Department of the Army Board for Correction of Military Records, at the Pentagon.

And in that document, they explain how they have denied my father’s request to have his DD 214 amended to include two awards he received but due to an administrative oversight were not on his DD 214.

For those of you not in the military let me give you a little useful knowledge.  A DD 214 is a Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. It is a document of the United States Department of Defense, issued upon a military service member’s retirement, separation, or discharge from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States.

If you have a parent who was in the United States Armed Services, you are going to want to know where this document is and who you will need to share it with.  I needed it to file for his death benefits from the veteran’s services, for the place that made the box with his ashes, for the cemetery, and other places. I had heard my father speak of this document a couple of times in the month we talked before his passing, but really had no idea what it was.  I am now very acquainted with his DD 214.  Like my siblings and my social security numbers and birth certificates my dad had many copies hidden in lots of locations.

I scanned the document for safekeeping and then this weekend I started to read the document. It was written in 2010. I was trying to think back to that time in my life and my dad’s life and imagine what brought on his want and need to address this. This wasn’t his only effort in 2010 to get some things fixed, he also applied for increased assistance through the VA and they also denied him. I have some strong feelings brewing about this. I feel like a wrong was done and I want to right that wrong. My dad was a humble man, not the type of person to draw attention to himself and he never asked for anything for himself, to the point of his health and wellness be compromised, so for my dad to make this request for his DD 214 to be corrected I don’t question if it was true or not.  I know that it is true.

Now a new adventure begins. I plan to find out if it is possible for his request to still be approved. My brothers and I are in agreement that this needs to be pursued until there is nothing more we can do. Reading through the document they list off why they have rejected him and what he would need to do to appeal their decision. The things he would have had to have done to appeal this processes would have caused his PTSD to become even worse and would have made his life unlivable. We know that and I am betting he did too. One of the things they asked for were letters from

I started out by emailing my friend Charles Kapsner, who is working on the memorial painting inspired by my father and who has close connections with a variety of military persons. I also wanted him to be a part of this process as in the end, it will be a part of the story of the painting. I don’t plan for Charles to have all of the answers. I do believe that he will have part of the answers. I plan to reach out to another organization this week to request their insight and assistance. I need to start out by answering the question, can this be fixed?

The next question being, if it can be fixed how do I gather supporting documents from people he served with? He never stayed in contact with the people he served with. He never talked about them by name to me. I don’t have much to go off of. I also figure I am far from the first person to take on this challenge, I also searching for others who have gone on this quest before. The best place I can think of to start this is the web, so I headed off to a search engine or two to see what I could find about gaining copies of his military record. I found this and made a request. We will see how long this takes. Then I searched around for ways to find out about the people he served with. This looks like an option to connect with further.

What move forward today:

Asked for help from Charles Kapsner

Requested Copies of his Military Records

What is next:

Wait to hear back from Charles and see what the mail brings.