Inspiration Station: A Salute to Veterans

Hi everyone! It’s Pauline and I’m so excited that you stopped by Inspiration Station today to share a creative moment with me.  With Veterans Day just a couple of days away, I’d like to start off by saluting all veterans and their families for their service and sacrifice for our country.

There are quite a few veterans in my family, including both my husband and dad.  I’ve struggled with making a layout of my dad’s service as part of a heritage album for a while.  When I was growing up my dad didn’t really talk about his military service and he passed away at an early age.  I had a lot of unanswered questions and lacked information about his time in the military.

I found some resources in my search that I want to share with you today.  They helped me obtain information, pictures, and unknown details about my dad’s service.  Did you know that if you are a descendant of a veteran and have their social security number, you can request their military records from the National Personnel Records Center?  I sent in a request several years ago and received the records about a month later.  The records were a treasure trove of information.  They included duty stations, rank, service classification, and medals and awards.  I learned his ship served in a combat zone during the Korean War, something I didn’t know previously.

A short time later I mentioned my search to my brother-in-law, a fellow Navy veteran.  He told me about Navy cruise books, a yearbook of sorts for the crew of a particular cruise.  I searched online for Navy cruise books by ship for the years of my dad’s service.  I found group pictures of my dad with his company and a candid shot of him cleaning the deck.

With this information and one of the few pictures I had of him in his Navy uniform, I finally had enough information for a layout.  I wanted to keep the layout simple to keep the focus on his service, so I just used some red and blue cardstock mounted on the blue star paper from the Authentique Freedom collection (a Throwback Thursday for long time students of the Latest & Greatest classes, it was featured in class several years ago) along with some Thickers stickers from American Crafts and an anchor charm I’d kept from a candle I bought a few months ago (yes, I keep the charms from everything I buy as a possible future embellishment!).  I journaled his service information from the personnel records and I’ve captured all the details for future generations.

Thanks for dropping by Inspiration Station today! I hope I’ve inspired you with some resources to help document the service of veterans in your life.

3 thoughts on “Inspiration Station: A Salute to Veterans

  1. Helen S says:

    What a great story about his time in the military. Finding all that information and putting it all together is a wonderful tribute.

  2. Pauline says:

    Thanks so much for your sweet comments, Helen! It was a rewarding search and I love that the details can now passed on to future generations.

  3. Christie Trapp says:

    Not all service people can be found by using the social security number. The social security number did not come into existence until July 1, 1969 – Vietnam. Before that the member got an RA number (Regular Army) or a service number for other branches of the service. If you have among your personal effects a copy of the service members discharge paper (DD 214), the number will be on it and you can use that to order not only the service record, but the medical record as well. One must also be cognizant that St. Louis has had several fires and a lot of WWII records were destroyed. If you get no results from the NRPC in St Louis, see if you can locate a Veterans Administration record for your individual, especially if they purchased a home using a VA Loan. This Wikipedia website explains about the various numbering systems that have been used by the military. This one discusses the US Army, if your person is in another branch of service – Navy, Coast Guard, check for a website on that one. The Air Force did not come into existence until September 18, 1947. Before that it was part of the US Army.

    Hope this helps everyone who might want to check out their family history and create fantastic memorial scrapbook pages based on the service record. I did that for my husband father by getting hsi records and then seeking out on the net photos of the various ships that he was stationed with during WWII through the Cuban Crisis before Vietnam broke out. It was an interest adventure.

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