From time to time, we here at Military.com get emails from veterans wanting to know how to contact their old military buddies. While that isn't necessarily an easy task, in today's connected society, it's easier than ever before to locate someone if they want to be found.
Here are several places to begin your search or just get caught up with people you may have served with.
While the government and military branches won't provide contact information for veterans or active-duty personnel except for official business, they do offer a lot of good starting points for locating people who served at various commands, including lists of reunions.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs can forward a message to a veteran, providing the veteran has filed a claim with VA and their current address is on record.
- The Army's SoldierForLife program offers a lot of helpful information for both retired and veteran soldiers, including access to the magazine "Echoes."
- Navy Retired Activities offers a wealth of information for retirees and veterans, as well as a link to reunions and access to the "Shift Colors" magazine.
- Air Force Retiree Services has a website that provides several helpful links, including information about reunions as well as access to the "Afterburner" magazine for Air Force retirees.
- The Marine Corps' "Leatherneck" magazine has links to unit reunions, as well as helpful information for retirees and veterans
- The Coast Guard, United States Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have an official retiree magazine, the "Long Blue Line", for all three. It lists reunions, as well as more information for retirees.
Veterans Directories and Locators from Other Organizations
- The Interactive Vietnam War Memorial from Footnote.com enables visitors to search the Wall for people they know and pay tribute by adding photos, comments and stories of those who lost their lives during the Vietnam conflict.
- The Directory of Veterans Service Organizations is a short list of service organizations that may offer reunion listings or locator services. The American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars both have magazines that contain lists of reunions and more..
Believe it or not, Facebook may be one of the easiest ways to look up your old military buddies or units.
You can search for anyone by name and send them a message directly from within Facebook, if you feel comfortable doing that. A better way to locate your old friends is to search for a Facebook group for your old duty station.
There are Facebook groups for current and former military bases, units and ships, as well as groups related to serving at those commands. Depending on what command you are looking for, there may be several groups you can choose from, including tenant commands or groups of people just looking to reminisce.
Good luck in your search.
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