Can You Be A Veteran Detective?

by Kimberly A. Cook           (Twitter@ WarriorTales)

With the holidays only hours away, perhaps you can be a veteran detective this year. What’s that? If you’re with family members or friends who are veterans, see if you can get them to tell you a story or two. Some may not want to talk about their experiences, perfectly okay, but if you can find out their military unit and what years they served, you can do research on your own.

Maybe someone will remember a stash of military letters this holiday season, like these found by my family in my Dad's dresser drawer.  Gold mine!

Maybe someone will remember a stash of military letters this holiday season, like these found by my family in my Dad’s dresser drawer. Gold mine!

Many times we don’t ask people about their military stories and they are lost forever.

When journalist Mark Bowden interviewed the soldiers and wrote the book about Somalia  titled “Blackhawk Down,” he found that out first hand. When he asked the military personnel involved why their amazing stories had not been told before, they replied, “Nobody asked.”

If you have time this holiday season, ask some questions and find out a few stories you can write down to keep for memories and t0 honor the veteran who told them, whether she or he even thinks they’re important. Truly listening to someone is an act of love. What better way to celebrate the holidays?

Update: Promised to let you know how the great military records hunt turned out. I filled out the forms and sent them off for my Dad’s World War II records. Found out his were in the fire which destroyed many WWII Army records. I paid $25 to have copies made of what they had and it turned out to be about six pages, two items we already have. So now, more hunting. I’ve actually got more than the archives from Dad’s personal record stash.

We requested my Mom’s military records and she received those. Now I am waiting for my grandfather’s and uncle’s.  Here is the link to the blog post I wrote about how to request military records.

Wishing all of you a safe and wonderful holiday season.

Blog Programming Note: I’m posting an early Quirky Friday blog post on Christmas Eve, so I’ll be posting again next Tuesday. Thanks for reading!




Filed under Veteran Stories

2 responses to “Can You Be A Veteran Detective?

  1. Thanks for the reminder, Kim. Time for me to get on this: Dad, Dad-in-law, husband, brother-in-law… Happy Holidays!

  2. Carol

    Good job sleuthing those military records! It is always a great adventure to get things from the government!

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