From the Morning Memo:

Democratic WNY Rep. Brian Higgins is pushing legislation that would eliminate the fees associated with obtaining military records. He introduced the legislation last week, ahead of Veteran’s Day.

According to the congressman, the Department of Defense transfers a veteran’s service record to the National Archives 62 years after he or she is discharged from the military. A veteran or family member seeking a copy may be required to pay up to $70 – unless the request for documents is made for the purpose of obtaining benefits.

“No veteran should have to pay the government for evidence of their sacrifice and service,” Higgins said. “This fee is inexcusable and should be eliminated.”

Higgins said his office routinely receives requests for military files from World War II and Korean War veterans and their families. He said they often request the information to research family history or determine eligibility for benefits or service medals.

The files contain information about military assignments, qualifications, training and awards received and could also include names of fellow soldiers and details of heroism during battle. On Twitter yesterday, Higgins posted the photo of another $70 order with the veteran’s name redacted.

“Again today, family of a WWII vet is told to pay if they want his military records,” he tweeted.

Higgins said veterans in need of assistance are encouraged to call his office while he works on getting this bill through Congress.