The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) and the National Archives have a website designed to help veterans and next-of-kin access military records more easily. The website address is http://www.archives.gov/veterans/. At this website, you can request veterans records, including DD Form214 and SF-180.
Here's a short video talking about the veterans records services offered:
To see how it worked, I tried to request my father's records. The website warns that it only works in Internet Explorer and it is true! I was easily able to navigate the system once I switched to Internet Explorer.
I hope that some of you find this useful. It is frustrating when you need a particular document and you don't have months to wait for it to arrive. According to the website, 92% of DD214 request are being filled within two weeks. That's a lot of shorter wait!