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View Diary: True: Missing War Records of Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq (9 comments)

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  •  On the other hand (0+ / 0-)

    And good news for many older veterans, for many too late but for their families extremely helpful as well as for the histories:

    Experts Recover Military Personnel Records 40 Years After Fire
    A devastating July 12, 1973, fire at the National Personnel Records Center in suburban St. Louis, shown in this file photo, destroyed some 16 million to 18 million military personnel records. Today, a special team at the center continues working to piece together the remnants, sometimes literally, to ensure veterans and their descendants have the documentation they need to qualify for service-related benefits. Photo courtesy National Archives and Records Administration

    WASHINGTON, July 12, 2013 – Forty years ago today, an enormous fire erupted at the National Personnel Records Center in suburban St. Louis. Burning uncontrollably for almost 24 hours, it destroyed some 16 million to 18 million military personnel records including official documents veterans need to apply for the benefits they’ve earned.

    Today, a team of about 30 people continues to put the pieces back together. They use the latest restoration techniques so reference technicians can gleam details from charred and water-damaged documents.

    “It’s like a MASH [Mobile Army Surgical Hospital] unit,” Marta O’Neill, who heads the National Personnel Records Center’s Preservation Lab, said during a telephone interview. “There may be 15 different routes that a record could take so we can still preserve the information and get the benefits to the veteran.”

    The July 12, 1973, fire destroyed up to 80 percent of the 22 million records of veterans of the Army, Army Air Force and Air Force who served between 1912 and 1963, reported William Seibert, senior archivist and chief of archival operations at the National Archives in St. Louis. read more>>>

    "If military action is worth our troops' blood, it should be worth our treasure, too; not just in the abstract, but in the form of a specific ante by every American." -Andrew Rosenthal 10 Feb. 2013

    by jimstaro on Sat Jul 13, 2013 at 04:06:08 AM PDT

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