One of the most rewarding aspects of being part of the U.S. military is the camaraderie that develops among those who serve together.
Of course, the number of people you meet in the military grows exponentially with multiple years, duty stations, and assigned units.
Though it can be difficult to stay in touch while on active duty, thankfully, the internet offers helpful sites that allow people to find their former military and/or veteran friends.
If you are a veteran or former member of the military, here are five great ways to find people that you served with as a means of reconnection.
Note: Click Here to visit the Truthfinder official website.
TruthFinder is a paid subscription service that allows members to search for individuals by name, phone number, physical address, and/or email address.
TruthFinder’s service allows members multiple ways to search for someone, scanning millions of public records, social network data, databases, and other information sources.
The outcome is a detailed report about the person you are trying to find.
Membership plans allow users to access search options using the following:
- Phone number
- Email address
The background report generated by TruthFinder may include some or all of the following information about the person for whom you are searching:
- Birth/death records
- Possible relatives
- Possible associates, friends, roommates, exes
- Contact information
- Detailed location history report
- Education and job history
- Social media/dating profiles
- Criminal, arrest, traffic records
- Vehicle and property assets
Though TruthFinder requires paid membership for access to information sources, it is considered accurate and affordable in terms of public records search services.
Pricing for TruthFinder depends on the membership package purchased.
Standard membership typically costs between $25-$30 per month and typically offers unlimited reports.
When it comes to finding veterans or military service members, it can be difficult if they protect their online privacy or have a minimal digital presence.
Therefore, TruthFinder is an excellent search option for people who might be difficult to find through other online methods.
Learn more about Truthfinder here: www.Truthfinder.com
VetFriends is a military veteran search database established in 2000 with the purpose of helping veterans and active personnel find fellow service members.
The site’s mission is to “reconnect, honor, and support” veterans and military members of all U.S. Armed Forces through modern technology.
Here are some of the services offered by VetFriends for members:
- Database with over 2.5 million members for searching and contacting
- Information for obtaining military records and medals
- Military message boards
- Veteran job boards
- Photo collection
- Military pride merchandise catalog
- Area to search for or post military reunion information
Creating a profile on VetFriends is free.
However, access to all search capabilities of the website and database is only available to paid members.
Here are the membership tiers for VetFriends:
- Lifetime: $97 per year for lifetime legacy access to the entire site
- Platinum: $47 per 6 months; reduced catalog discounts, no embroidered hat or license plate frame
- Gold: $9.97 per month; lower catalog discounts, no embroidered hat or license plate frame
- Free: limited access only
There is no contract to become a member of VetFriends.
Payments can be stopped at any time.
Individuals can be searched for by first and last name.
In addition, the database can be searched by military unit or U.S. Public Records.
VetFriends prides itself on not just offering a database for military members and veterans to connect with one another.
The site also provides a community atmosphere with message boards for communication, relevant military blogs, reunion stories, book recommendations, and more.
Therefore, VetFriends allows veterans to find those they previously met in the service in addition to the chance to connect and establish new relationships with other site members.
Learn more about VetFriends here: www.VetFriends.com
#3. Together We Served
Together We Served (TWS) is a website that was originally set up for the Marine Corps in 2003.
Since then, TWS has expanded to include other branches of the U.S. military including the Navy, Air Force, Army, and Coast Guard.
Together We Served is designed as a search engine for veterans to reconnect and reunite with fellow service members.
In addition, TWS offers an online community to honor all those who have served in the military by encouraging members to share their history and stories for authentic preservation of past and present experiences.
TWS compiles contributions of its members to form a historical archive through sharing of photographs, experiences, and profiles of Marines, sailors, soldiers, airmen, and guardsmen.
Together We Served also features a “Roll of Honor.”
This is an option for a personalized online memorial for families who have lost loved ones in military service.
TWS is free to join, and profiles can be created for living service members as well as those who have passed.
To register online, the following information is required:
- First name
- Last name
- Email address
- Service branch affiliation
This U.S. military veteran locator and directory has over two million members and is growing.
TWS also features detailed unit pages for over 150,000 U.S. military units, including:
- Assigned unit members
- Unit patches
- Unit history
- Related photographs
- Upcoming unit reunions
If you wish to find fellow service members or veterans, Together We Served is an excellent resource as a locator.
In addition, TWS provides an opportunity for you to contribute to a collective military history by sharing your personal story or that of a loved one who served.
By creating your own profile and adding your experience to this online archive, others may be inspired to join and reconnect with you and fellow veterans.
Learn more about Together We Served here: www.TogetherWeServed.com
#4. National Archives
National Archives is another tool in searching for information about veterans and military personnel.
The National Archives is a collection of documents held by the U.S. government that records important information and events in American history.
The National Archives and Records Administration is the agency in charge of preserving and maintain these materials.
This agency also makes these records available for research, and anyone can use the service.
There is a service charge of $1.00 per person for online reservations to use National Archives services.
Admission to National Archives museum exhibits and libraries is free.
The National Personnel Records Center cannot release personal information about a veteran or military service member.
However, the National Archives catalog holds a variety of military records, photos, and documents.
Such collections of information are available to veterans, their families, and researchers as well.
The National Archives offers the AAD System (Access to Archival Databases) for people to search and access databases, electronic, and computerized records.
Some of the military records available include:
- Enlistment records
- Casualty reports
- Prisoner of war data
- Other relevant veteran and military records
New records are added to AAD in an ongoing manner.
National Archives are unable to provide information for members still serving on active duty status.
Their records reflect former military members that have been separated from military service through being discharged, released, retired, and so on.
However, each branch of the U.S. Armed Forces does feature an office that can help with location of active service personnel.
The National Archives cannot directly provide personal information for veterans or military members, even upon request.
However, the site offers a wide variety and large volume of relevant military records and historical information.
This can be beneficial for those searching for further data regarding U.S. military events, experience, and history.
Learn more about National Archives here: www.Archives.gov
Facebook is a common social media platform that is widely used by individuals across the globe.
As the largest social networking site available, Facebook is also a great way to potentially find past military/veteran friends.
Many Facebook members list a military branch as a past or present employer.
It’s estimated that nearly 4 million veterans and active duty military have profiles on the site.
In addition, Facebook allows members to search for friends and/or family members of the individual they wish to find.
Therefore, veterans may be able to find connections to fellow service members through their friends and family—even if the individual to be found does not have a Facebook profile of their own.
This may increase the odds of reconnecting with past comrades.
Facebook Search Strategies
Here are some strategies for searching for a person on Facebook:
- Person’s name in the search bar
- Name of school with “education” filter
- Place of business with “work” filter
- Selected city with “city” filter
- Search list of friends among existing friends
- Use “People You May Know” page
- Browse public groups (search members)
- Search by phone number
There are also Facebook groups for military units, bases, ships, and command-related service, both current and former.
If you are looking to reconnect with fellow service members from a particular duty station or assigned unit, it’s possible that a search will lead you to a helpful Facebook group.
Additionally, an important thing to keep in mind with Facebook is that anyone can view member profile pages.
However, if you are not a member of Facebook, what you will be able to see of someone’s profile is limited to a profile picture and possibly a background picture.
In addition, even if you are a member of Facebook and logged in, you may be limited to certain profile information among other members who have set their profile viewing to only their existing Facebook friends.
Learn more about Facebooks veteran buddy finder here: www.Facebook.com
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