Q:

How can I claim unclaimed war medals?

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Quick Answer

A family member or a relative of a deceased war veteran can claim unclaimed war medals by obtaining a DD-214 Military Release form and the veteran's Social Security number. It also helps to know the rank, military position and military number. Claimers living in the United States write directly to the Navy Personnel Command Liaison Office in St. Louis, Mo.

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Full Answer

Military awards and medals are a recognition of service and accomplishment by members of the armed forces. However, in some cases, they remain unclaimed. Understandably, World War I veterans are no longer around, but many veterans of World War II are still living. Relatives of those who served in World War II can ask the veteran about the potential for unclaimed medals for service to his country, then obtain the forms on his behalf. In the United Kingdom, relatives of deceased veterans need to secure a medal application form and contact the Imjin Barracks at Gloucester.

The oldest military award in the world is the Purple Heart, given to those who were wounded or killed in battle. The highest honor given to military personnel in the United States is the Medal of Honor, awarded for action above and beyond the call of duty. It was created in 1861 and awarded by the president in the name of the Congress.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What information is needed to complete form SF-180?

    A:

    The basic information applicants need to fill out a Standard Form-180 form, Request Pertaining to Military Records, includes a veteran's full name, Social Security number, and date and place of birth. The form also requires the veteran's service branch, service number, the date entered and released from military service and status as an officer or enlisted personnel.

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  • Q:

    How do you download a copy of a DD-214?

    A:

    Most military service records, including DD Form 214 Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty, are available in paper form only online at Archives.gov. You can request military records by clicking the Veterans' Service Records link on the home page.

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    How do you use a military ribbon checker?

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    A military ribbon checker allows a service member to see what ribbons or medals he or she is entitled to wear, and it is also a handy way for civilians to see what ribbons or medals signify certain actions and honors. Some ribbon checkers also list the correct order of precedence for ribbons and medals so that servicemen and women can be confident that their insignias are displayed correctly.

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  • Q:

    How do you get veteran's Social Security benefits?

    A:

    To get veteran's Social Security benefits, join the United States military and maintain an active-duty status for 10 years. To claim veteran Social Security Benefits, go to SSA.gov, and click the Sign In link located in the top menu. Sign in using your login credentials, or select Create Account to sign up. Once logged in to the online portal, hover your cursor over the Benefits button, and choose the Apply for Benefits option.

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