Get a copy of your or a loved one’s military records

If your parents are no longer alive, there probably isn’t a day that goes by that you don’t miss them. I know – I feel that with my father. During the Korean War, he served in the military and later worked as a management employee for United Airlines.

Now that he’s gone, I miss him every day. His military medals sparkle under my office lighting, proudly displayed so I can honor his memory. They reaffirm how brave and selfless he was and that I can be just like him.

If you want to learn more about the service of a loved one, a great site offers many resources about the heroes of our country. If you haven’t researched this great resource yet, take a moment now.

How this amazing database can help you

The veterans section of the National Archives website you can request the service details of a family member. You can use the web form or download and print the necessary documents.

Most commonly, these documents are used to apply for veteran benefits, but they can also be a fantastic way to memorialize a veteran in your family. For example, the government provides free tombstones for fallen soldiers.

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Military awards and medals are an important symbol of pride and honor, but unfortunately they can be lost over time or begin to show their age. If you know where to look, you can request new medals to commemorate your family member’s service. Just know that the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) itself does not issue service medals.

“That’s a function of every military service,” the NPRC says on its website. To replace a medal, you must contact the specific branch of the military in which the veteran served. Tap or click here for instructions on how to apply for military awards and honors.

Photos, research, genealogy and more

Even if your mom or dad didn’t serve in the military, you can still enjoy researching the databases. You’ll find entire webpages devoted to historical events, from the Spanish flu of 1918 to the Battle of Iwo Jima in 1945.

The site also hosts a virtual genealogy fair, which offers advice on using federal data to research your family’s history. If you’ve ever wanted to unravel the secrets of your family tree, there’s no better place to start.

While browsing the website I got lost browsing all breathtaking photos from the Second World War† Take a moment to see them for yourself.

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