Veterans' Benefits Information
for USS TUSCALOOSA (CA-37)
and USS WICHITA (CA-45) Veterans

This page is intended as resource for veterans on some benefits available.  Please feel free to submit any information or suggestions.

The information here has frequently been tailored to that relevant to veterans of the ships at this site.  Thus, where different information may apply to members of different services, information here relates to the Navy and/or Marines and to servicemen of that age group.  More complete information is available at the provided links.

YOUR MILITARY RECORD

The key to many benefits is your discharge papers.  You really should have a copy of your DD-214 (also known as DD Form 214 or Department of Defense Form 214).  Obtaining a copy of your DD-214 and having one readily available is necessary to take advantage of the benefits discussed here.

You get your DD-214 (and other things as noted) by filing a Standard Form 180 (SF180).  The National Archives and Records Administration has a page to describe how to get and file the SF180 (or file without the form).  Click here to get SF180 from National Archives.

For the relevant Navy/Marine records, you will use the address indicated as box 14 on the back of the form:

National Personnel Records Center
(Military Personnel Records)
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63132-5100

If you are in a hurry, walk-in visitors are a priority and if a record is available a copy will be provided that same day in most cases.  If there is no hurry, mail is the way to go.

REPLACEMENT MEDALS

To request replacement medals, complete Standard Form 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records. Fill in as much information as possible and send it by U.S. mail to the address noted below.  You should also include a copy of the veteran's military discharge papers stating the awarded medals in order to receive replacements. Click here for the page at theNational Archives and Records Administration that describes how to get replacement medals.

Here is a summary for obtaining Navy/Marine medals:

Service
Branch
Where to write for medals
and whey they are mailed from
Where to write in case of
a problem or an appeal
Navy Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office
Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63132-5100
Chief of Naval Operations
(OPNAV 09B33)
Awards & Special Projects
Washington, DC  20350-2000
Marine
Corps
Bureau of Naval Personnel
Liaison Office
Room 5409
9700 Page Avenue
St. Louis, MO  63132-5100
Commandant
Headquarters
United States Marine Corps
Awards Branch (MHM)
Washington, DC  20380-0001

For information on the special process to obtain a Combat Action Ribbon, click here.
For information on navy medals generally, click here.


VETERANS AFFAIRS BENEFITS

The Department of Veterans Affairs (formerly the Veterans Administration or VA), administers benefits for honorably discharged veterans. Among those are burial and memorial benefits at no cost.  Talking about this is like talking about life insurance:  you don't want to, but you know it is better to be prepared. The key to most of these benefits is to have a copy of your DD-214 available.  See above for information on obtaining your DD-214.  It's too late to start this after someone has been honorably discharged from this earthly life when the funeral home and the VA will need this form immediately.

Benefits (at no cost) include:

Here are some links:

General VA site:  http://www.va.gov/index.htm

General VA benefits page:  http://www.va.gov/vbs/index.htm

General VA page on burial and memorial benefits:  http://www.cem.va.gov/

Department of Defense page on military funeral honors, etc.:  http://www.militaryfuneralhonors.osd.mil/

[My gratitude to Lieutenant Colonel Z for his kind assistance and sense of humor.]


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