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Here is some information below regarding your family member. I assume he was from New York since you did not give any additional information. But it looks like the State of New York issued him a medal fro his service as well.
Also Jim since his death on April 11th 2021 was recent you may apply to the National Archives for service and medical records since this type of request would fall under "emergency request" according to NARA
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on November 7, 2020, NPRC regressed back to a “Closed - Except for Emergencies” operating status when local public health metrics worsened and no longer met NARA’s standards for remaining open. As of March 15, 2021, the National Personnel Records Center is back to Phase One. More staff will be able to enter the building to expand the types of cases worked. Please see NARA’s Press Release: National Personnel Records Center Prepares for Expansion of Onsite Workforce for more information. Currently, NPRC will continue servicing requests ONLY associated with medical treatments, burials, and homeless veterans seeking admittance to a homeless shelter. If your request is urgent, please see Emergency Requests and Deadlines. Please still refrain from submitting non-emergency requests such as replacement medals, administrative corrections, or records research until NPRC returns to pre-COVID staffing levels.
**********If your request was regarding one of the three emergency circumstances, please resubmit your SF-180 by FAX 314-801-0764 or online with eVetRecs (click the ‘Start Request Online’ button). Please remember that if you use eVetRecs you must specify that the request is for an emergency by typing “EMERGENCY” in the comments section.
More information about the National Archives' response to coronavirus can be found at archives.gov/coronavirus .
Dear Jim Prastio,
Thank you for posting your question on History Hub. Since Mr. Prastrio's service was during the Vietnam conflict, his records are not yet accessible to the public. However, his next-of-kin may request a copy of his service record which would contain awards and citations. Please note that this would NOT be considered an "emergency request" as suggested in a prior response, as complete copies of service records are not required to receive benefits. A copy of his DD-214 would be provided for those purposes such as military honors or aid and attendance.
Under normal circumstances, you are most welcome to request a copy of Mr. Prastio's Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) if you are his next-of-kin. The Official Military Personnel Files are in the custody of the National Personnel Record Center / National Archives at St. Louis. However, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, and our limited workforce, we are prioritizing requests from veterans and their families for medical emergencies, final military honors, and other essential benefits. Currently, there is a substantial backlog of routine requests, in addition to the emergency requests awaiting response. While it is still unknown how soon we will able to resume responding to routine requests, the National Personnel Record Center is working hard and taking an aggressive approach to decreasing response times and eliminating the backlog. Please understand, that your request will be placed into a queue for non-emergency requests until such time as we are able to process it.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your research!
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RL-SL (The National Archives at St. Louis). We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
So even if this person according to his obituary just passed away, which would qualify his family to request his records under NARAs "Emergency Request" guideline procedures. Eric what I'm understanding is that NARA/NPRC are not allowing family members access to the full service members file when a death has accrued under the "Emergency Request" guidelines. Thus only allowing for issuance of a DD214 or equivalent for burial and honors. I would think that NPRC would allow the "Next of Kin" access to the full file under the "Emergency Request" guidelines. But from what you are stating this is not the case, I would think that giving access to full military records upon a death should be apart of an "Emergency Request". Maybe NARA can re-think this portion and allow a family access to a service members file upon a death.
Thank you for the clarification