Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Fred Keller (PA-12) announced that the Lycoming Office of Veterans Affairs has endorsed the RECORDS Act, legislation he recently introduced that directs the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) to fully reopen its operations and work to expedite a now 500,000 service records requests backlog.
The NPRC was forced to scale down its operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic and is currently staffed at only 25 percent capacity.
This is well below the staffing level needed to process an estimated 5,000 records requests it receives on an average day.
These service records are vital for veterans to access VA benefits, adjudicate disability claims, and request a commendation, award, or regalia such as a Purple Heart or campaign service medal.
W. Michael McMunn, Director, Lycoming County Veterans Affairs:
“Fully reopening the National Personnel Records Center is vitally important to the operation of veterans’ affairs offices throughout the country. As the Director of Veterans Affairs in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, I can attest to the fact that the lack of access to public military and service records directly affects the ability of our veterans to obtain necessary documentation to enroll in Veterans Administration health care, disability benefits, and timely receipt of commendations and awards.
“Since March 2020, our relatively small county office has processed no fewer than fifty requests for military records from the National Personal Records Center and dispensed information to other veterans who wish to make personal application for records. In most cases, veterans and families are still awaiting responses, some for over one year. We look forward to the return of the NPRC’s full operations and believe the RECORDS Act is a step in the proper direction.”