Special note about the DD-214 commonly called Discharge Papers
Your Separation Paper from active duty, commonly called Discharge Papers, (DD-214) or WD Form 53-55 for World War II veterans) is your most important military document. In this book we use DD-214, Discharge Papers and Separation Papers interchangeably. For World War II veterans your equivalent is the WD Form 53-55. When applying for veteran benefits, your most important document is your DD- 214. Almost all benefits require that you submit a copy of your DD-214. Never send away your original documents! Always submit a copy and keep your original. State Veterans Service Officers (VSOs) can certify original DD-214s for VA purposes.