Back in 1973, a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in Overland, Missouri destroyed millions of United States Military service files. Beyond the disaster of losing those documents, and the untold history contained within them, Veterans could not receive the benefits they were entitled to because they had lost access to their records.
The truth is physical documents can easily be misplaced or even lost to fire and other disasters. And documents aren’t just pieces of paper — they are important records that people rely on to preserve their personal history.
AAFMAA’s own history dates back to 1879, and throughout that time, we’ve been able to preserve our historic records, as well as numerous documents from our Members who chose to store them with us. These long-existing files are a testament to why and how history can be remembered and protected. And our commitment to record preservation is evident in a unique feature of AAFMAA Membership: the Digital Vault. Free with every AAFMAA policy, our Members receive access to their own personal Digital Vault, which provides a safe and secure place to store copies of records and other files and keep the information protected from floods, fires, or various other threats.
With AAFMAA’s Digital Vault, you know that your essential documents are in a secure location where you can retrieve them when you need them, anytime and anywhere you have internet access.
“My service in the Army taught me many useful skills that have helped me along the way, but especially planning and preparedness,” says Jerry Quinn, AAFMAA Chief Operating Officer and Secretary. “I learned early on to have a contingency plan, to be prepared for things to not go as you originally planned.”
AAFMAA’s Digital Vault is exactly the type of contingency plan that servicemembers need. Take for example when servicemembers have to quickly leave a duty location that is no longer safe. In that case, they will need the forms and documents necessary to be evacuated and repatriated (a NEO package). If these necessary records are kept in their AAFMAA Digital Vault, there’s no need to worry about collecting them or losing them. They are preserved and ready to go.
The types of documents you should keep in your Digital Vault include:
- Family health records
- Copies of passports
- Log of credit card numbers/account numbers
- Birth certificates
- Wills and Power of Attorney documents
- Marriage Licenses
You can upload your essential documents to your Digital Vault anytime through your AAMFAA Membership account in the AAFMAA Member Center. If you are not yet an AAFMAA Member, visit aafmaa.com or call 1-888-973-0835 to learn more about everything AAFMAA Membership can do for your family.