Dear Fellow Veterans,
I strongly recommend using the free and efficient service provided directly through the National Archives for your DD-214 retrieval needs. Their website is https://vetrecs.archives.gov/VeteranRequest/home.html. Please proceed with caution if you're considering using the Touchstone Research Group's "DD-214 Emergency Service" advertised for a fee of $119. In my recent experience, their promised expedited service fell short. Their contact details are: Phone - (800)283-3214 / 800-At-DD214, Websites - https://www.touchstoneresearchgroup.com and https://dd214express.com.
Here's a concise summary of my experience. If you'd like a more detailed account, read on below.
On May 30, 2023, I ordered Touchstone's express DD-214 retrieval service at 10:22 am, only to receive my DD-214 directly from the National Archives 38 minutes later. When I promptly requested a refund from Touchstone, I received a denial after nine days. I found their express service fee excessive given the speedy, free services provided through official channels like the National Archives.
The term "Stupid Tax," as my dad used to call it, refers to the unnecessary costs incurred due to a lack of information or hasty decision-making. My aim here is to prevent at least 100 of my fellow veterans from paying this tax, as I did in May 2023.
My journey began when I needed to secure a loan for a new property purchase. The loan was processed through the Texas Veterans Land Board, a terrific service for Texas Vets that required my DD-214. Having misplaced my original copy, I needed to obtain an official one. After much searching and by pure luck I found the National Archives, where I submitted my request on May 17.
Fast forward to May 30, after two weeks of waiting and growing impatient, I stumbled upon Touchstone Research Group during another web search. Their "DD-214 Emergency Service" for $119, which promised "Same Day, commonly within 2-3 days" delivery, seemed like the perfect solution to my issue. Unfortunately, it wasn't.
At 11:00 am on the same day, I received my DD-214 from the National Archives. Despite my attempts to contact Touchstone for a refund and to cancel my request, I was met with silence on all fronts. I resorted to their Support Ticket System, which promised a response "almost always" within 48 hours. Instead, I received a reply after nine long days, denying my refund request.
It was then, on June 8, that I decided to research Touchstone and found a plethora of complaints on the Better Business Bureau and other complaint sites. It became evident I had paid for a service that was readily available for free and delivered in a timely manner by the National Archives. It's been 10 days now since my interaction with Touchstone, and I'm still waiting for the DD-214 I ordered from them.
I write this not to demean Touchstone Research Group but to share my experience so others can make informed decisions. They have their ducks in a row, cleverly written website and all. The National Archives provides a swift, free, and reliable method for obtaining your DD-214 document. If this post can save even a few of you from a similar experience, I'll consider it a success!