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Allegan County clerk urges veterans to file discharge papers

The Holland Sentinel - 1/10/2019

Jan. 09--ALLEGAN COUNTY -- The Allegan County clerk's office processed two dozen honorable discharge papers from military veterans in 2018.

This is the second-highest number of DD 214's, Certificate of Release or Discharge, filed with the office since 2005 when the office started tracking them. The highest number of papers filed in Allegan County was 44 in 2017.

"In the last two years, we have processed more veterans' discharge papers than the previous seven years combined," said Bob Genetski, Allegan County clerk. "Our campaign to help veterans connect more easily with benefits they have earned is working."

There are an estimated 7,300 veterans living in Allegan County.

Genetski said he spoke at American Legion, VFW and DAV Halls throughout the county encouraging veterans to visit the clerk's office to process their discharge papers.

"In order to connect with GI Bill benefits, VA benefits or even secure the new veterans' designation on a Michigan driver's license, you'll need a certified copy of a DD 214," Genetski said.

Genetski encouraged any veteran who has not yet filed their papers with the clerk's office to do so.

"It's quick and easy," Genetski said. "The veteran will want to bring his or her original DD 214 to our office. We create a copy, give the original back and issue the individual a certified copy right there. From then on, he or she can receive certified copies for free from our office as benefits are accessed."

Filing the papers also gives piece of mind, Genetski said. A man came to the office in 2018 for a certified copy of his papers after his home burned down and he lost his original.

"He was really thankful he had processed the original when he was first discharged," Genetski said. Doing so will make it easier for that veteran to rebuild his life."

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