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How Can I Find My Missing Service Member?

Ms. Vicki

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I've been married to my military husband for almost nine years. The problem is that before we were married a year, he got sent to South Korea. The time apart made us grow apart. 

I have tried to contact him because I need help, but he always shuts me down. I've tried with the Inspector General, but it only causes me problems.

I have no idea where he is and no way to contact him besides Facebook and email. I even think he has another family.

I have no ID card, and I don't know what else to do. I haven't seen him physically in over seven years. I'm just helpless.

Hopeless Romantic

Dear Hopeless Romantic,

Girlfriend, what in the world is so romantic about being married for almost nine years and not seeing him for seven years? This doesn't sound right.

I'm confused as to why you want to see him now. Obviously, you have lived a separate life from your husband for a very long time. I want to believe that you miss your husband and you want to make your marriage work, especially since you said you are a helpless, hopeless romantic.

You will have to use every resource you can to locate your husband. If you do want to get in touch with him, I suggest you should try these five things.

1. Verify his active-duty status.

At this point, your husband may or may not be on active duty.  If you have his social security number and birthdate, you can request a certificate verifying Active Duty Status from the Defense Manpower Data Center.

2. Use a service-specific locator service.

There is no central locating service for military members. The Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps provide their own locator services. You can find contact for those services here. The Army no longer provides this service.

3. Contact his family.

Surely you know at least one family member, right? You could contact his parents, siblings, cousins or close friends from his past. Contact them and ask them where he is.

4. Get a credit report.

A credit report will definitely have some contact information on it. You can never hide from Equifax, Transunion and Experian.

5. Contact an attorney

If your husband is married to someone else when he is not divorced from you, this would make him a bigamist and bigamy is illegal.

After seven years apart, I'm 99 percent sure your marriage is over. The chances of getting back together and rekindling a marriage after being separated with no contact for such a long time like this is slim to none. If you could, please keep in touch with me and let me know what happens in your search.

Ms. Vicki

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Ms. Vicki is a native of Dallas, has been the Dear Abby for the military community since her column began in 2005. A licensed therapist and licensed clinical social worker, Ms. Vicki holds a Master of Science in social work and a Master of Arts in clinical psychology.

Ms. Vicki appears regularly on and in the Fort Campbell Courier. Her column has also appeared in the Washington (D.C.) Times and in the Heidelberg (Germany) Post Herald. She has been featured on CNN, CBS, ABC and NBC.

Looking for advice about your military life? Email Ms. Vicki here. Find Ms. Vicki on Facebook here.  Find Ms. Vicki on Twitter here.

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