Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Free resources for military records online

Today's Tip from Kim Komando's site

Millions of Americans have given their lives to uphold what makes this country great. This weekend is about honoring our heroes in uniform that have paid the ultimate sacrifice for the United States.

Take a minute to learn more about the members of your family who served. The National Archives offers many amazing resources to learn about our armed forces.

The Archives' site allows you to request a family member's service records. You can use its Web form or download and print the necessary documents. These are usually used to request veterans' benefits, but are a fantastic way to memorialize a veteran in your family.

The records facility did experience a massive fire a few decades ago - it lost thousands of records. So it might take a while to piece together the documents you want.

It also could be a little difficult to find the exact documents you need. Luckily, the site gives you useful tips and walkthroughs on how to search.

Medals are a symbol of pride and honor in our military. Sadly, these can be lost or begin to show their age over time. The National Archives will send you new medals to commemorate your loved one's service.

For veterans themselves and next-of-kin, medals are issued at no charge. Army and Air Force veterans can request medals online, but Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard veterans will need to mail the request to the Archives.

Even if you don't have a loved one who served, you can still research the databases. I got lost browsing through all the breathtaking photos from World War II. Take some time to look through them yourself.

Order service records online: www.archives.gov/veterans/
Replacement medals: www.archives.gov/veterans/replace-medals.html
Military Research: www.archives.gov/research/military/veterans/online.html
 

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