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Veterans Service Office Opens at Recorder's Downtown Chicago Office

The following is a letter to the residents of Cook County from Cook County Recorder of Deeds, Karen A. Yarbrough.

Dear Residents of Cook County:

I recently marked 100 Days in Office as the new Cook County Recorder of Deeds, and I'm extremely proud of my staff for helping us go above and beyond for the taxpayers and property owners of Cook County. If you haven't already, I urge you to visit CookRecorder.com and view our 100 Day Report and see the great changes we've been making in the name of accuracy, efficiency and advocacy.

On Flag Day, June 14, we officially dedicated our new Veterans Service Office (VSO) at the Recorder's Downtown Chicago Office. Many are not aware that we are an official repository for DD-214 military discharge records. This means that a veteran can bring this very important document to our office, record it for safekeeping, and receive a certified copy — all for free. This is important in case a family member needs to quickly access it in the event the veteran is unable to communicate the location of the original document, or if it is ever lost.

Please encourage any veteran you know to visit our office to safeguard their discharge papers. Because there have been privacy concerns in the past with recording these documents, make sure they are aware that the DD-214 is now protected by state and federal privacy laws and a strict internal process that redacts sensitive information and ensures we don't release this record to the public, or to anyone not entitled to receive it. Appointments at our VSO aren't necessary, but are encouraged if you need assistance finding a previously-recorded DD-214. Please call our VSO at (312) 603-5788 for more information.

I want to thank all our veterans and their families for the sacrifices they make in order to protect our freedoms at home, and spread the message of hope and peace throughout the world. I also want to wish everyone a happy and safe summer.

Karen A. Yarbrough
Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Maine Township