– Juliana Smith
Your first step would be to determine when and where in the armed service a soldier served, and whether he or she was in the enlisted ranks or an officer. Clues may be found in family stories (keep in mind that military stories—like the proverbial fishing tale of "the one that got away"—are often exaggerated and should be taken with a grain of salt), old newspaper clippings, correspondence, scrapbooks, journals or diaries, service medals and memorabilia, and photographs of the soldier in uniform. The grave marker of a veteran may also contain information about military service as well.
Once the facts have been established, you can move on to military records. U.S. Military Records: A Guide to Federal and State Sources, by James C. Neagles is an excellent reference tool to find out what types of records are available for various branches of the armed forces and how to obtain them.Click to Continue Article.