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Faces of War: Researching your Adopted Soldier

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The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) operates and maintains 25 permanent American military cemeteries overseas. In many of the countries in which these cemeteries are located, men and women officially and unofficially, through Adoption Foundation programs, adopt the graves of American service men and women in the ABMC cemeteries.

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The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) operates and maintains 25 permanent American military cemeteries overseas. In many of the countries in which these cemeteries are located, men and women officially and unofficially, through Adoption Foundation programs, adopt the graves of American service men and women in the ABMC cemeteries.

Researching the service and life of a soldier while living in Europe, has its challenges, primarily because the records they need are located in archives in the United States. There is also the challenge of the 1973 fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The fire destroyed roughly 80% of the Army, Air Corps/Army Air Forces, and National Guard personnel files. This is not however, the end of the story where researchers are concerned.

All the tools researchers need to start exploring their World War I or World War II soldier, civilian, sailor, or Marine’s service, are included in this volume.

The tools include:
•    The basics of starting research and creating a timeline of service.
•    Resources and strategies for online and offline military research.
•    Resources for obtaining a wide range of information on a soldier’s death and burial.
•    Instructions for ordering and using military records to reconstruct service history for men and women.
•    And, tips for placing the soldier into historical context using higher level records.

Through examples, checklists, and document images, researchers are taught how to locate and analyze records for any branch of the military. This volume focuses more on World War II records, but the process for a World War I soldier and records created, are similar. Once you understand the research process, it can be applied to either war.

Jennifer Holik is an international researcher, speaker, and author of numerous books, articles, and courses. She holds a BA in History from Missouri University of Science and Technology. Jennifer offers expert World War II, genealogical, and historical research services. She provides clients with detailed and fully cited reports with documents, record analysis, and suggestions for further research. She has the rare expertise to locate, analyze, and interpret World War II records across all branches, reconstruct service history, document where a soldier was throughout service, provide details on combat experience, and when necessary, document the death and burial of a soldier. Connecting the dots and piecing together multiple puzzle pieces of a soldier’s story is Jennifer’s specialty. Jennifer can write and publish a book about your family or soldier. In addition to research and writing, Jennifer speaks in the United States and Europe at military museums, libraries, genealogy societies, Rotary groups, corporations, and other venues. Her current program topics include beginning genealogy, youth genealogy, and World War II. Jennifer’s passion is writing the stories of families, particularly men and women of World War II. She has published several books and guides on these topics. For more information, please see www.wwiirwc.com.

"Faces of War" is written in particular for European researchers. If you are U.S.-based, you might be interested in the books "Stories From The WWII Battlefield." Volume 1 focuses on reconstructing Army, Air Corps, and National Guard Service Records. Volume 2 on navigating Service Records for the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, and Merchant Marines

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Faces of War: Researching your Adopted Soldier

Faces of War: Researching your Adopted Soldier

The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) operates and maintains 25 permanent American military cemeteries overseas. In many of the countries in which these cemeteries are located, men and women officially and unofficially, through Adoption Foundation programs, adopt the graves of American service men and women in the ABMC cemeteries.