Department of Veteran Affairs contact information
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If you intend to launch a V.A. claim, you will need a copy of your OMPF (Official Military Personnel File). To request a copy, write to the Director, National Personnel Records Center (NPRC), ATTN: NCPMAS-O, 9700 Page Avenue, St. Louis, Mo. 63132. The OMPF will provide medical records, the DA Form 20, unit and duty assignments, and orders of personnel actions, such as promotions, awards, and commendations. For those who have trouble remembering details, because of the time that has elapsed, your OMPF will provide you with a wealth of information that you will need when contacting a VARO (Veterans Administration Regional Office).
In addition to NPRC, you need to contact the U.S. Armed Services Center for Research of Unit Records (CRUR), formerly the U.S. Army & Joint Services Environmental Support Group (ESG). In the case of Agent Orange. CRUR will conduct a computerized herbicide analysis by establishing the whereabouts of your unit and then comparing it to known areas where Agent Orange was used. CRUR will likewise research the alleged stressors in PTSD-related claims, which is what the V.A. will need.
To expedite your claim as quickly as possible, write to NPRC for your OMPF and to CRUR at the same time. Tell CRUR that you are filing a PTSD claim, whether it is Agent Orange related or not. A CRUR researcher will establish your case and date it. Be sure to tell CRUR that you have written to NPRC and that you will forward a copy of your DA Form 20 when it becomes available. Then, when you have your OMPF, make a copy of the DA Form 20 and send it to CRUR. Be sure to retain the original and send only the copy to CRUR. Your initial contact with CRUR can consist of a simple letter, but be sure to write/print so the CRUR researcher can read your letter.
I cannot stress enough the need to provide CRUR with as much detail as possible, such as dates, your unit(s), names of casualties, etc It should take about three to six months to get an answer (why I have no idea), but CRUR will address all of your stressors whereas the VARO usually answers only one major stressor (this is all they require). Once you get the answer, you can then go to the VA with the information provided by CRUR as well as your OMPF. Again, always retain the original for your records while giving out the copy.
If you were injured or wounded, you should write to NPRC for your OMPF and specifically ask for your CLINICAL RECORDS. Include in your request a chronology of medical facilities you were sent to, your social security number, service number, dates of service, and any other pertinent information. Follow this clinical paragraph to the letter. If you received shrapnel, then you would have had to have it removed and therefore, there would be the outpatient or inpatient records in your clinical records.
The OMPF has medical records but they are not the same. When you request your clinical records, you must provide your full name, SSN, service number, the approximate dates you were treated, the name of the medical facility (i.e. NAVAL HOSPITAL, DANANG, U.S. ARMY HOSPITAL SAIGON, USS RESPOSE, ETC) where you were treated at.
Best of luck in your efforts.
Allan B. Colombo