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Sec. 1-219.  Veterans' military records.  (a)  As used in this section: (1) "Armed forces" means the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Air Force or Space Force of the United States; (2) "veteran" means any person honorably discharged from, or released under honorable conditions from active service or reserve status in the armed forces; (3) "military discharge document" means a United States Department of Defense form, including, but not limited to, a DD 214 form, or any valid paper that evidences the service, discharge or retirement of a veteran from the armed forces that contains personal information such as a service number or Social Security number; (4) "person" means any individual or entity, including, but not limited to, a relative of a veteran, a licensed funeral director or embalmer, an attorney-at-law, an attorney-in-fact, an insurance company or a veterans' advocate; and (5) "public agency" or "agency" means a public agency, as defined in section 1-200.

(b) A veteran or designee may file a military discharge document with the town clerk of the town in which the veteran resides or with any other public agency if the military discharge document is related to the business of the town or other agency, and the town or agency shall maintain and record the military discharge document in accordance with this section.

(c)  Notwithstanding any provision of chapter 55, or any provision of section 11-8 or 11-8a, any military discharge document filed by or on behalf of a veteran with a public agency before, on or after October 1, 2002, except a military discharge document recorded before October 1, 2002, on the land records of a town, shall be retained by the agency separate and apart from the other records of the agency. The contents of such document shall be confidential for at least seventy-five years from the date the document is filed with the public agency, except that:

(1)  The information contained in the document shall be available to the veteran, or a conservator of the person of the veteran or a conservator of the estate of the veteran, at all times;

(2)  Any information contained in such military discharge document which is necessary to establish, or that aids in establishing, eligibility for any local, state or federal benefit or program applied for by, or on behalf of, the veteran, including, but not limited to, the name of the veteran, the veteran's residential address, dates of qualifying active or reserve military service, or military discharge status, shall be available to the public at all times; and

(3)  In addition to the information available under subdivision (2) of this subsection, any other information contained in the document shall be available to (A) any person who may provide a benefit to, or acquire a benefit for, the veteran or the estate of the veteran, provided the person needs the information to provide the benefit and submits satisfactory evidence of such need to the agency, (B) the State Librarian as required for the performance of his or her duties, and (C) a genealogical society incorporated or authorized by the Secretary of the State to do business or conduct affairs in this state or a member of such genealogical society.

(d)  The provisions of this section concerning the maintenance and recording of United States Department of Defense documents shall not apply to the State Library Board or the State Librarian. 

(P.A. 02-137, S. 1.; P.A. 22-34, S. 24; P.A. 23-71, S. 2)