NEWTOWN, Conn. -- U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-5th District) came to the aid of Newtown resident Daniel Hayes Jr. to resolve a mistake on his Army discharge paperwork that was preventing him from receiving some of his earned veteran's benefits.
The problem was with his DD 214, the Department of Defense’s official discharge document for all members of the military. The form lists a service member’s military record, including the type of discharge, length of service in the military, where the member was stationed, and the highest rank achieved.
Hayes was a specialist for the Army during Operation Desert Storm and recently was named the new head of the Danbury Veterans Affairs Committee. He received a Bronze Star for his efforts during the war.
He needed this paperwork in order to prove he was honorably discharged from the military, and to begin receiving his entitled state veteran's benefits. However, the National Personnel Records Center mistakenly sent him his father’s paperwork — he and his father have the same name — causing delays and preventing Hayes from accessing his benefits.
Having heard of Esty’s work with other veterans in Connecticut, Hayes turned to her for help clearing up the mistake. She worked with the NPRC to track down the correct paperwork. Hayes was able to complete his application, and access his earned benefits.
“Over a year ago, I made a request for my military papers through the NPRC to try and fix a mistake on my DD214. After numerous exchanges and improper or illegible paperwork, I all but gave up. I finally asked Rep. Esty for assistance,” Hayes said. “In less than two weeks the problem was resolved, and the proper paperwork was sent to me.”
Esty said: “Daniel answered the call to service and served our country with honor and distinction. He shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to access the benefits he’s earned."
Any veteran in the 5th District who is having difficulty receiving their benefits, or is interested in learning more about receiving their service medals, is encouraged to call Esty’s office at 860-223-8412.