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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in military (13)

Saturday
Jul302011

* How to Get Military Personnel Records from the National Archives

Do you have a parent or grandparent who served in the US Military? Want to know more about their service? The National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records (NPRC-MPR) has millions of records from WWI- present day.

If you are the veteran or the next of kin of a deceased veteran you can use the National Archives eVetRecs online system to start your records request online. You can also download form SF-180 to fill out by hand and send your request via snail mail. Even if you complete the online request, you still have to print out a form to sign and send via fax or mail to the records center in St. Louis.

I've had a great experience so far! When my family found my grandfather's WW2 medals, I immediately wanted to know more. We were limited with information, he is deceased and we didn't have any records or documentation. I completed an online records request and mailed in the signed form about 3 weeks ago. I was so excited yesterday when I checked the mail and found a nice thick envelope from the National Personnel Records Center!

I received many documents, including typed letters of recommendation submitted by a NJ Congressman and Senator to the Army in 1946 on behalf of my grandfather, his division information from WWII, and documentation for his medals. More to come on what I've learned from these documents!

This is a FREE service! Check out the National Archives Website for more information.

Thursday
Jul142011

* Historical US Flags: Don't Tread on Me

Picture of Gadsden Flag in Philadelphia (desperateGenie July 2011) With so many historical sights to be seen in Philadelphia, sometimes it's nice to just walk the side streets to learn the history. This flag was looking so perfect on the beautiful 4th of July in Philadelphia I snapped a picture.

I recognized the snake symbol from Benjamin Franklin's "Join or Die" political cartoon, I didn't know the origin or meaning of this flag. A random sunny day picture has taught me a little history lesson.

Called the Gadsden Flag, in memorial of it's designer American General Christopher Gadsden, it was one of the first flags used to display the unity of the states. It was the first flag carried into battle with the British by the Continental Marine Corps. Gadson was inspired to have a snake on the flag by the before mentioned "Join or Die". Britain was sending prisoners to the states and Benjamin Franklin thought they should send Britain cargoes of snakes in return. 

From Gadsden.info, I learned another reason the colonists identified with a snake. Apparently in 1775 an anonymous author wrote to a Philadelphia newspaper with very specific insight into the snake symbolism. Scholars believe this anonymous writer was none other than Benjamin Franklin himself.

The snake: "She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. ... she never wounds 'till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of treading on her.

I wonder why the snake is referred to as a "she"? I like it!

It's interesting to learn about the symbols and signs used by the founding fathers to unite the country, and how they were used!

Links to learn more!

Gadsden Flag History

Gadsden Flag Information from Foundingfathers.info

Sunday
Jun052011

* sightseeing sundays: governers island NYC

Looking for a green sandy respite away from the concrete jungle of NYC? Take a peek at Governors Island! There has been such a buzz about this place! It is located just off shore of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn and the bottom tip of Manhattan. Open for the season ONLY Friday 10-5, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday Holidays 10-7 through September 25, 2011. A lovely saturday afternoon I took a trip...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jun032011

* Honoring Sacrifice: USPS Purple Heart Stamp

USPS Press release 5/5/2011 Purple Heart with Ribbon Forever Stamp SAN DIEGO — The U.S. Postal Service today honored the sacrifices of the men and women who serve in the U.S. military with the issuance of the Purple Heart with Ribbon Forever Stamp. The stamp goes on sale nationwide at Post Offices and online at usps.com/shop today. “It is our hope, that with the issuance of this stamp, the Postal Service, along with the rest of our nation, can pay tribute to those whose sacrifices have given all of us a country that is truly the land of the free and the home of the brave,” said Deputy Postmaster General Ronald Stroman. “Through this postage stamp, we have created a lasting tribute to the many brave members of the armed forces who have served our country. We are proud to share their legacy with America and the world, as we deliver our nation’s mail,” Stroman said. Stroman was joined in dedicating the stamp by Rear Admiral Mac McLaughlin, USN (ret), president and chief executive officer, USS Midway Museum; Clayton Jones, commander, Military Order of the Purple Heart; and Jerry Sanders, mayor, San Diego. The Purple Heart is awarded in the name of the President of the United States to members of the U.S. military who have been wounded or killed in action. According to the Military Order of the Purple Heart, an organization for combat-wounded veterans, the medal is ‘the oldest military decoration in the world in present use and the first award made available to a common soldier.’

Click to read more ...