Texas House Bill 545 which pertains to Military Discharge Records was passed and became law effective 1 September 2003. With the passage of this bill the following now applies to the recording of military discharges in the County Courthouse:
MILITARY DISCHARGE RECORDS.
(a) This section applies only to a military veteran's Department of Defense Form DD-214 or other military discharge record that is first recorded with or that otherwise first comes into the possession of a governmental body on or after September 1, 2003.
(b) The record is confidential for the 75 years following the date it is recorded with or otherwise first comes into the possession of a governmental body. During that period the governmental body may permit inspection or copying of the record or disclose information contained in the record only in accordance with this section or in accordance with a court order.
(c) On request and the presentation of proper identification, the following persons may inspect the military discharge record or obtain from the governmental body free of charge a copy or certified copy of the record:
(1) the veteran who is the subject of the record;
(2) the legal guardian of the veteran;
(3) the spouse or a child or parent of the veteran or, if there is no living spouse, child, or parent, the nearest living relative of the veteran;
(4) the personal representative of the estate of the veteran;
(5) the person named by the veteran, or by a person described by Subdivision (2), (3), or (4), in an appropriate power of attorney executed in accordance with Section 490, Chapter XII, Texas Probate Code; or
(6) another governmental body.
(d) A court that orders the release of information under this section shall limit the further disclosure of the information and the purposes for which the information may be used.
(e) A governmental body that obtains information from the record shall limit the governmental body's use and disclosure of the information to the purpose for which the information was obtained.
SECTION 2. Section 192.002, Local Government Code, is amended by adding Subsection (c) to read as follows:
(c)(1) This subsection applies only in relation to a military discharge record that is recorded with a county clerk under this section before September 1, 2003.
(2) The veteran who is the subject of the record or the legal guardian of the veteran may direct, in writing, that the county clerk destroy all copies of the record that the county clerk makes readily available to the public for purposes of Section 191.006, such as paper copies of the record in the county courthouse or a courthouse annex, microfilm or microfiche copies of the record in the county courthouse or a courthouse annex, and electronic copies of the record that are available to the public. The county clerk shall comply with the direction within 15 business days after the date the direction is received. The county clerk's compliance does not violate any law of this state relating to the preservation, destruction, or alienation of public records. The direction to destroy the copies of the record, the county clerk's compliance, and any delay between the time the direction is made and the time the county clerk destroys the copies may not be used to limit or restrict the public's access to the real property records of the county.
(3) A county clerk who receives a request under Chapter 552, Government Code, for inspection or duplication of a military discharge record recorded before September 1, 2003, is only required to search for the record in places where or media in which the county clerk makes records readily available to the public for purposes of Section 191.006, such as paper records stored in the county courthouse or a courthouse annex, microfilmed or microfiched records stored in the county courthouse or a courthouse annex, and electronically stored records made available to the public. This subdivision does not apply to a request made by the veteran who is the subject of the military discharge record or the legal guardian of the veteran.
We must say a special thank you to Dan Scott of Natalia, Texas, for re-typing this index for use on the Milam County TXGenWeb site.
A big thank you to LaVerne Soefje, Milam County Clerk, who kindly provided the Index to the Milam County Genealogy Society so the information could be made available to the public.
Created on 22 Nov 2003 and last revised on 19 Jan 2004