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

Get a copy of your or a loved one's military records
© Michal Bednarek | Dreamstime.com -

If your parents are no longer alive, probably not a day goes by that you don't miss him or her. I know, I feel that about my father. I miss him every single day. In my office, I have his military medals proudly displayed. It reaffirms to me how brave and selfless he was and how I can be just like him, too.

The veterans section of the National Archives website offers many amazing resources about our country's heroes. If you haven't explored this tremendous resource, take a moment now. But first, let me tell you more about what's there so you know what to look for,

This site allows you to request a family member's service records. You can use its web form or download and print the necessary documents.

Usually, these documents are used to request veterans' benefits but it can be a fantastic way to memorialize a veteran in your family too. For example, the government provides free headstones for fallen service members.

Military honors and medals are an important symbol of pride and honor, but sadly they can get lost or begin to show their age over time. The National Archives will happily send new medals to commemorate his service upon request.

For veterans themselves and next-of-kin, medals are issued for free. Medals can be requested online by Army and Air Force veterans. Navy, Marine Corps. and Coast Guard veterans may request theirs by mail.

Even if your mother or father didn't serve in the military, you can still enjoy researching 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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