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Where to find the needed information
for your military certificate gift

without your loved one knowing anything

Option #1: Anyone discharged from the service has a
DD-Form-214
. This is an official military document that lists their service information, including their wars, battles and awards. Military personnel records can be used as a valuable tool in genealogical research. Most veterans and their next-of-kin can obtain free copies of their DD Form 214 (Report of Separation) and other military and medical records.

There are many reports on the Net that the National Personnel Records Center is taking many weeks to perform record retrievals, with a backlog of two hundred thousand (200,000) requests. You will find information on all of your options available at our DD214 page.


Example of a DD Form 214
Option #2: Sources to Request Military Service Records:

American War Library
http://www.amervets.com/

Veterans' Service Records
National Archives and Records Administration
www.archives.gov/veterans/

Military Personnel Records
The National Personnel Records Center
http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/

Note: there was a fire in 1973 at the National Personnel Records Center (St. Louis, MO) that destroyed approximately 16-18 million Official Military Personnel Files. The affected record collections are described below.

Branch Personnel and Period Affected Estimated Loss
Army:
 
Discharged November 1, 1912, to January 1, 1960
Estimated Loss: 80%
Air Force:
  Discharged, September 25, 1947, to January 1, 1964
(with names alphabetically after Hubbard, James E.)
Estimated Loss: 75%
No duplicate copies of the records that were destroyed in the fire were maintained, nor was a microfilm copy ever produced. There were no indexes created prior to the fire. In addition, millions of documents had been lent to the Department of Veterans Affairs before the fire occurred. Therefore, a complete listing of the records that were lost is not available. Nevertheless, NPRC (MPR) uses many alternate sources in its efforts to reconstruct basic service information to respond to requests. Click on this link for alternate sources of military records info. Alternate Sources

Option #3: Tell your loved one that someone in your family is doing a geneaological research on the family and ask them to write out their military information including their rank, rating mark if needed for the navy or coast guard, wars or battles they fought, service dates, and their medals, ribbons and badges. You can use our order form as a guide, but don't let them see it. This is the easiest way, providing you can do it in such a way they don't suspect anything.

Option #4: Check our Commemorative Medals Page to see what additional medals and awards your loved one might be eligible for. Commemoratives were developed many years after the events of the wars, so your loved one may not know they are available and that he or she is eligible to receive them. This is especially good if you only know of 3 or 5 medals they have for their certificate and want to have the full six to balance out your certificate design and display as much as you can of their experience.

Give your loved one the Perfect Gift

So Creative ......So Personal
Shows how much you really care!
 

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