Faces of War: Researching Your Adopted Soldier

On April 16th 2016, writer and researcher Jennifer Holik launched her latest book “Faces of War: Researching Your Adopted Soldier“. The American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) operates and maintains 25 permanent American military cemeteries overseas. In many of the countries in which these cemeteries are located, like here in The Netherlands, men and women officially and unofficially, through Adoption Foundation programs, adopt the graves of American service men and women buried on the ABMC cemeteries.

Especially for us Europeans, researching and finding interesting information about American soldiers can be difficult, or better said: a pain in the butt! However, if you know where to search and which persons or organizations to contact, finding information in archives is possible.

The first step most of us take is to contact NARA in St. Louis. In 9 out 10 cases we recieved an letter back stating the requested file was destroyed in the 1973 fire. That fire destroyed roughly 80% of the Army, Air Corps/Army Air Forces, and National Guard personnel files. This is not however, the end of the story where researchers are concerned. All the tools researchers need to start exploring their World War I or World War II soldier, civilian, sailor, or Marine’s service, are included in this book. The tools include: The basics of starting research and creating a timeline of service. Resources and strategies for online and offline military research. Resources for obtaining a wide range of information on a soldier’s death and burial. Instructions for ordering and using military records to reconstruct service history for men and women. And, tips for placing the soldier into historical context using higher level records. Through examples, checklists, and document images, researchers are taught how to locate and analyze records for any branch of the military. This volume focuses more on World War II records, but the process for a World War I soldier and records created, are similar. Once you understand the research process, it can be applied to either war.

As owner of this website, I can truly recommend the book from author Jennifer Holik. They will guide you through the process of finding information on your adopted grave or named US WWII artifacts like medals and uniforms. Lots and lots of hidden gems are waiting for you in American archives spread out over the country, waiting to be found. See a list of all her books here.


Where to buy?
Two options, Jennifer Holik will be present for a signing session at Hotel Groot Welsden (Groot Welsden 27 6269 ET Margraten) between 11:00 AM and 12:00 PM on Memorial Day May 29th 2016. Limited amount of books can be bought directly from the author.

Or, via the Dutch Foundation United Adopters American War Graves website for €25,95. Click here. And as always through Amazon.com for $29.95.

Product Details:
Paperback: 340 pages
Publisher: Generations (April 16, 2016)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1938226399
ISBN-13: 978-1938226397
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.8 x 11 inches

As long as you are in the area, visit the military cemetery at Margraten for it’s annualy Memorial Day. Ceremony stars at 3:00 PM.

Author Jennifer Holik walking on ABMC cemetery in Henri-Chapelle.

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