(WTAJ) — Veterans across the country and right here in Central Pennsylvania are having a difficult time getting their own military records, making it nearly impossible for them to get the benefits and care they need.
This is due to the lack of staff at the National Personnel Record Center (NPRC). The NPRC has been working at about 25% of its workforce since the beginning of the pandemic. Congress is now trying to solve this major problem with new legislation.
“These are our veterans who didn’t sit around waiting to do things to make sure that they protect our freedoms and our way of life they did at a moments notice and quite frankly they deserve a lot better from the government,” Congressman Fred Keller said.
Congressman Fred Keller said he is frustrated because the NPRC, which is a government agency, has roughly 75% of their employees off the job, creating a backlog of half a million records including DD-214 that veterans need to get their benefits.
“And we get about 5000 per day which means we’re getting further and further behind every day,” Congressman Keller said.
Keller said he introduced the legislation to essentially force the NPRC to get to pre-covid staffing at 100-percent. The congressman also joined in writing a letter to Congress urging even more action to be taken including to hold a hearing to conduct oversight, specifically on why there was not a plan to effectively get record requests promptly during the pandemic, how they will fix the staffing issues and why it’s taken so long for the workers to get back to work.
The bill currently has 43 co-sponsors.
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