Lawmakers Urge VA To Keep Better Records

Patricia Kime | Marine Corps Times | December 6, 2012

Lawmakers are pressing for digitization of military records, and better file sharing among agencies responsible for them, following media reports of missing or inaccurate unit records and the temporary disappearance of 250 files from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis. In November, media investigators at Pro Publica and the Seattle Times found that the Veterans Benefits Administration denied some claims because service members’ units had lost or inaccurately catalogued their field records, making it impossible to prove they had deployed or suffered a service-related medical condition.

And on July 3, a person walking in the woods behind the records repository in St. Louis found a dumped cache of 250 military records. A follow-on investigation found they’d been unloaded by a temporary employee who was supposed to have filed them. Rep. Jon Runyan, R-N.J., said Tuesday that problems must be addressed by all three agencies that handle troop records, including the Defense Department, Veterans Affairs Department and the National Archives, to ensure the records are “initiated, maintained and transferred as efficiently as possible.”...