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Dear D. Proffer,
Thank you for your question! If your grandfather’s service ended before 1955 his record is considered archival and is open to the public. This means that you do not need to be next of kin in order to request it. You may complete a SF 180. When requesting the record with the SF 180, you may either request only limited details, such as discharge information, or the entire record. I always recommend requesting the entire record because there may be pertinent pieces of information that are not included on discharge details. Complete the SF 180 to the best of your ability so that we can verify that we have the correct individual. If you have already submitted the SF 180 then it is possible that your request has been received and is being processed. There is a bit of a running backlog, but you can contact customer service at 314-801-0800 to follow up on your request and get a status update.
We also suggest that you may wish to contact the County Recorder of Deeds in the county where he resided following the war. Many veterans registered their discharges at the county level of government after their service.