Protect Access to Historical Records for Veterans, Families of Veterans, and Researchers

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The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is the caretaker for millions of our nation’s historical records, including military personnel files, historical documents and audio/visual media. Unfortunately, as NARA’s record holdings and responsibilities have increased during the last decade, budget cuts have resulted in reduced staffing and limitations on public access to records, including reduced operating hours at many research facilities. Since 2010, NARA’s budget has been slashed by $100 million. In the last year alone NARA’s funding was reduced by nearly $20 million. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has requested that NARA cut its funding yet again for the fiscal year 2020-2021. We need your help to reverse this devastating trend!

U.S. citizens need and deserve access to the historical records of our government. Access to our nation’s records allows us to hold our government accountable for its actions and to preserve the history of our democracy.

Historical records that NARA holds are essential for:

·  Verifying eligibility for veterans’ benefits claims

·  Understanding the wartime contributions of our military ancestors

·  Locating and identifying the remains of U.S. veterans lost or killed in action

·  Accomplishing key research objectives for litigators, veteran advocates,    museums, authors, historians, filmmakers, genealogists and researchers

We are asking lawmakers to authorize $20 million in additional annual funding for research services at the National Archives. That added funding would allow NARA to provide adequate staffing and hours of operation so that public demand for access to high-value government records can be met. Modernized equipment, expanded space, and increased staffing will enable a more efficient flow of records and information from the archives to veterans, their families and the public. In addition to improving access to records for military veterans, increased funding for research services will also aid in our nation’s economic recovery by allowing small businesses enhanced access to the holdings of the archives as they conduct research on behalf of veterans and the American public.

Please sign our petition and help us to ensure access to historical records for veterans, their families, researchers and the American public.