A recent state law change now allows for older military discharge records to be available to the public, Macoupin County Clerk Pete Duncan announced.
“Any military discharge filed more than 62 years ago is now available as a public record,” Duncan said. “This allows generations to come to find their family members record and honor their service in their family history records.”
These military discharges, or DD-214s, had been much more locked up as a way to protect the veteran’s privacy, but made it nearly impossible for generations after immediate next-of-kin to get a copy of the record of service members many years ago. Illinois is now following the same standard set by the National Archives for these records.
“Veterans Day 2019 seems an appropriate day to announce we have placed online an index of all military discharges filed more than 62 years ago,” commented Duncan. “Right now, it allows for visitors to see their family members name listed as a service member in Macoupin County and request a copy of their record. Hopefully by Veterans Day 2020, we will have redacted the still confidential information, like Social Security numbers, on these records and have a public copy of these discharges available online for any wishing to have one for their records.”
Duncan said he believed Macoupin is one of the first counties to have an index of military discharges online. He was able to so quickly put an index online as he had previously scanned and index every military discharge in the county. This allows them to be preserved for future generations and cut some of the red tape for veterans who need a copy as the office can more quickly provide a copy.
Duncan reminded all veterans to record their DD-214 if they have not yet as it free to record or get a certified copy. For those wishing to view the online index or request a copy of a discharge record should visit www.macoupincountyclerk.com and click ‘Military Discharge Records’ under the ‘Recorder’s Office’ tab.