Gail - Dealing with a lot of vets here in Newfoundland with the American Legion, the main document you need and your dependants need to know the where a bouts of in case of you or any vets passing is your DD-214. This is the main document to be requested by the VA. Any other certificates like Blue Nose, crossing the equator, etc can be put in the attic as Randy says or can be put on an "I Love Me Wall" or whatever else you so desire. The DD-214 is the one you should always know where it is. This will save a lot of problems for you and others later on.
Thank you John for raising the subject of official papers, however my point is every Honorable Discharge certificate, from, was it the American Legion?, you know it had a little pin with it, my 2 Icelandic service parchments, my Blue Nose - they all have my SSN & formal name on them. Can the Honorable Discharges be re-issued minus the SSN? How do you re-dact on behind the glass displays? Or certificates that are no longer issued w/o messing them up?
And Capt. Jim, you brought up a whole new aspect of the papers - the ones containing another persons information.
That is actually a very important question, Gail. I know my Social Security Number and full name is on countless documents. I just recently went through some old Navy documents and took two large boxes to one of those shredder trucks that pop up occasionally at NFCU.
What I had forgotten is that each and every Enlisted Evaluation and Officer Fitness Report used to include the individual's and the reporting senior's full name and Social Security Number. I had saved all of mine (and still have them) and I saved every CPO Eval and Officer FITREP I had ever signed. There were hundreds. I had heard somewhere along the line that I should keep them in case someone filed a grievance. Well, that never happened and I don't think they meant for me to keep them for eternity. I destroyed them all.
But now I wonder - how many former subordinates have my full information stored in "boxes in the attic" and laying around in unsecured and easily accessible locations?
My advice is to get rid of all of that stuff properly. It's not important anyway. If there is some sentimental value to any document at least black out the SSN.
Jim, with a nod to Chuck Cable, I believe the correct term is "redact" the SSN. :wink: