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Thread: Help finding Military records

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    HBK fan nilesgirl's Avatar
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    Help finding Military records

    If this gets moved, please let me know where it is. I need some help with something. I'm trying to fill out some forms to request records from my dad's time in the military during the Korean war. He passed away in 1989 and I didn't even know he was in the military until his funeral. I don't know any information about when he started, whether he retired or was discharged, or any other "legalise" information they're asking me like "type of military assignment", Place of basic training and date, or any of that stuff. Does anyone know where I might be able to get some help with that without having to pay for it? I found something on line but I have to pay for a membership. All I know is what they have on his flat stone at the cemetary which simply says AB US Air Force and PFC US Army. And that he was in Korea.
    Hurley: (holding up a Jesus statue) I don't know. I thought there might be a prowler or something.
    Mrs. Reyes: (grabbing the statue) Jesus Christ is not a weapon! - LOST "There's No Place Like Home Pt. 1

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    FORT Fogey justCoz's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding Military records

    a DD-214 is the document you want to ask for. Dept of Veteran's Affairs in St. Louis MO.

    The DD-214 will have most of the info you are looking for in regards to his service. They will probably ask for his DOB and SSN.

    Not sure if you can do that online or not. There was a big fire at that center in St. Louis and some records were destroyed. MrC and I are not sure what records were destroyed, but some were (just a heads up).

    Classmates.com also has a veterans section if you know his active duty company. The Local VFW may help as well.
    Hope that helps.

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    HBK fan nilesgirl's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding Military records

    Thanks. Here's hoping.
    Hurley: (holding up a Jesus statue) I don't know. I thought there might be a prowler or something.
    Mrs. Reyes: (grabbing the statue) Jesus Christ is not a weapon! - LOST "There's No Place Like Home Pt. 1

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    Kanai Nemeses's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding Military records

    Nilesgirl, I'd try this link first:

    NARA Military Records Request

    As you are next-of-kin to the deceased veteran, the records should be no cost to you. I have been doing genealogy for years, and I've used NARA (National Archives and Records Administration) to get copies of military records for all those years. And in some cases of a relative, I had very little to go on but was still able to get them. The key is just to provide as much information asked as possible. The more, the better, but it's worth it to give it a try. Their finding the records depends mostly on proper indexing on their end, but they have excellent records. Their records of Korean-era veterans are excellent.

    The information you'll need on your dad is:

    # The veteran's complete name used while in service
    # Service number
    # Social security number
    # Branch of service
    # Dates of service
    # Date and place of birth (especially if the service number is not known)

    For service number, just put 'Unknown' (unless by chance you do have it)
    If you don't have his social security number, that's easy to obtain in just a couple of minutes (send me a PM if you don't have it)
    Branch of service, you already have it from the gravestone
    Dates of service (best if you could put dates, but when you don't have them, put 'Korean Conflict Era', and they will usually take that as the dates)
    Date and place of birth, you probably have.

    NARA is not fast always, but they're an excellent source, and you can do your request online.

    Good luck
    Last edited by Nemeses; 08-21-2007 at 04:22 AM.
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    FORT Fogey MRD's Avatar
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    Re: Help finding Military records

    Can I add that if you know of anyone that has been in the military or is currently serving and will be getting out, that a very easy and inexpensive way to keep the DD-214 accessable is to take it to the county and have it recorded into public records at the Clerk of the Court's office.
    My dad had that done and encouraged my brother. My husband had also done it on his own before he met me. I know that a lot of DD-214's are recorded in public records. Do black out the SS# on it before recording though.
    It's been invaluable to my husband on one occasion when he could not find his actual dd-214.
    The clerk's office charges a filing fee which is just a few dollars and then you're record is very easily accessible.

    (one of the reasons that a lot of veteran's do this is to establish a record of residency in that county which is often used for college tuition among other things)
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