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Military Research - How To Find Out What Your Relatives Did During WWI, WWII And The Korean War

January 01, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 165

Have you ever wanted to find out what your father or grandfather did during WWI, WWII or the Korean War? Many of us are simply resigned to the fact that we will never understand the wartime experiences of our relatives. However, the good news is that there is a way to uncover this information and to preserve the memory of the heroic men and women who played such a crucial part in protecting our nation in times of war. Most of the official military records of veterans who served in the 20th century are held at the National Archives in St. Louis. This includes everything, for example, from Elvis Presley's military records to those of your great-grandpa who served in World War I. So, If you are looking to unlock the mysteries surrounding your relative's military service, the answers you have been looking for are indeed out there!

Now, as we all know that dealing with bureaucratic government agencies can be frustrating. The National Archives does not have the time or the resources to fully pursue every single record request that comes their way. For this reason, your best bet is to hire a military researcher who knows what they are doing and who can devote their complete attention to your specific case. Hiring a competent military researcher is especially important because of the 1973 fire which destroyed millions of records. The fact that so many records were destroyed often means that a diligent reconstruction effort on the part of military researchers will be necessary to find all of the military records pertaining to your relative. Many of the military records at the National Archives are on microfilm and are not easily accessible for family members of veterans who live far from the records center. However, military researchers working on site have access to personnel files, medical records, morning reports, and unit rosters which allow them to trace the steps of individual veterans through their military careers. This process is absolutely essential to understanding the experiences of veterans who served in WWI, WWII and the Korean War.

So, what can military research at the National Archives show us? Surprisingly, an incredible amount of details can be learned if one knows where to look. Here are just a few of the details that military researchers can uncover for you:

- When a veteran joined or left a particular unit, which will indicate what battles he took part in.

- A veteran's Military Occupational Specialty or assigned jobs throughout his military career.

- The approximate date and location a veteran was missing, wounded, or killed in action (often including medical details on the type of wounds sustained).

- Locations a veteran was stationed at or moved to, often including map coordinates and the names of ships during transport.

- When and where a veteran was promoted, demoted or subjected to disciplinary action.

- When and where a veteran was sent to a hospital for treatment or to another activity for training.

- Many times army clerks also recorded a 'record of events' every few days which can include combat details along with the dates and locations where these events occurred. This is really exciting because it gives us an idea of what daily life was like for our relative's when they were in combat.

If you have always wondered about your relative's participation in WWI, WWII or the Korean War the answers to your questions might not be as difficult to find as you once thought. Military research of individual veterans can yield a great deal of insight into what they did and where they served. It is important that we prevent the memory of our veterans' service to our nation from fading away and there is no better way to do this than by gaining a greater understanding of their experiences during the war. Hopefully this essay will serve as an inspiration for you to begin a journey of discovery about your own family's military heritage.

Geoff Gentilini is the lead researcher at Golden Arrow Military Research, specializing in the research of WWI, WWII and Korean War Veterans. You can learn more about us and the services we provide at:

Source: EzineArticles
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