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The original item was published from 8/17/2023 10:10:19 AM to 8/17/2023 11:52:56 AM.

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Posted on: August 17, 2023

[ARCHIVED] Burlington County Clerk reminds veterans about free service to safeguard DD214 discharge papers

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Burlington County veterans don’t need to worry about losing their DD214 discharge papers. The Burlington County Clerk’s Office will keep a certified copy on file for whenever a veteran or a member of their family might need it.

The service is offered free to all Burlington County veterans who request it, said Burlington County Clerk Joanne Schwartz.

“Burlington County is proud to be the chosen home of more than 30,000 veterans and we’ve made it part of our mission to recognize and support them in as many ways as possible,” said Schwartz. “Registering a veteran’s DD214 is a small service we can perform for those who stepped forward to protect our nation, and we’re reminding veterans that this program is available to them at no cost. It’s a fast and simple process that ensures these discharge papers are easily accessible, and if they are ever lost, the veteran won’t need to navigate any complicated red tape to get another copy from the Department of Defense.”

DD214 discharge records are kept permanently by the Clerk’s Office as a service to veterans. The records remain private and will not be released to anyone without the veteran’s consent or an authorized family member.

More than 1,000 veterans have registered their DD214 papers with the Clerk’s Office so far, according to the Clerk’s Office.

Veterans interested in having their DD214 registered with the Clerk can make an appointment with the office by calling 609-265-5122. Walk-in service is also available from 8 AM to 4 PM at the Clerk’s Office located at 50 Rancocas Road in Mount Holly.

The service is one of several Burlington County programs designed to assist and support local veterans and their families. These include the following: 

  • Burlington County has a Military and Veterans Services Office within the Department of Human Services to provide case management for veterans and service members and their families to help ensure they receive all benefits they are eligible to receive. Last year, the office helped county veterans obtain more than $15 million in compensation and benefits.
  • Burlington County Service Medals are presented to veterans who were honorably discharged and now reside in our community. Burlington County also operates a cemetery care program that maintains the veterans’ grave sites in over 96 cemeteries in the County and places new flags on the graves before Memorial Day.
  • The Burlington County Clerk’s Office issues Gold Star Family identification cards to spouses, domestic partners, civil union partners and children of family members who died while serving on active duty with the U.S. Armed Forces. The free identification cards enable those family members to receive certain discounts or courtesies extended to military families, including those offered by the State of New Jersey and some stores and restaurants.
  • The Burlington County Sheriff’s Office issues free Veteran Photo ID cards to any local veteran. These cards identify them as having served in the nation’s armed forces and can be used to receive discounts and other benefits reserved for veterans and military personnel.
  • The Burlington County Animal Shelter waives all adoption fees for all veterans and service members seeking to adopt a pet.

Burlington County Commissioner Director Felicia Hopson said these services help Burlington County retain its status as New Jersey’s most veteran-friendly community. The County’s services for veterans were recognized in 2021 when it become one of the first communities in New Jersey to receive a New Jersey Governor’s We Value Our Veterans Community Award.

“Our nation’s veterans put their lives on the line to serve us and we have a responsibility to provide whatever assistance we can to help them and their families,” Hopson said. “We’re proud of the services we offer, and we want to make sure veterans are aware of these programs so they can take advantage of them.”

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