Locating Veterans and Service Members
We cannot release personal information about a veteran, and we lack the resources and current information to forward letters or correspondence to veterans. However, the Department of Veterans Affairs and certain military branches may be able forward some messages to veterans or active service personnel. Some veterans service organizations such as the VFW and American Legion and other groups also maintain reunion listings, member directories and locator services.
Other Sources for Veterans Information, Aid and Benefits may also be of assistance.
Military Personnel Locator Services
- Locating a Veteran through the Department of Veterans Affairs
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.
- Air Force Personnel Locator
- Army Personnel Locator (Active Duty Only)
- Marine Corps Buddy Locator
- Navy World Wide Locator
- DefenseLINK Military Personnel Locator
- Obtaining Soldiers and Sailors Certificates
Veterans Directories and Locators from other Organizations
- Interactive Vietnam War Memorial
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. (More about this project.)
- Selected Veterans Service Organizations
A short list of service organizations which may offer reunion listings or locator services.
- Directory of Veterans Service Organizations
Comprehensive database of Veterans Organizations compiled by the VA.
- VetFriends.com (fee required for locator services)
Vet Friends.com helps you to reunite with friends and family who are veterans of or are currently serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.
A commercial site offering free resources to serve, connect, and inform active duty members, reservists, guard members, retirees, veterans, family members, defense workers and those considering military careers.
- Military Connections
A commercial site designed to help present and past military personnel and their families find each other and keep in touch. The site is free to members and offers an array of resources to help past and present military personnel take advantage of their military benefits.
- US Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)
The VA can forward a message from you to the veteran, providing the veteran has filed a claim with VA and they have an address on record. For more information on VA forwarding:
- National Contact Center (GSA)
The National Contact Center, part of the General Services Administration, may be of help to you. The Center has links to the locator services of the US military and to the American Red Cross.
- The American Legion
The American Legion provides a limited service for members to locate other members. For more information, see
- Books and articles on locating members or former members of the military:
Gormley, Myra Vanderpool.
"20th Century Military Records." Heritage Quest, 10 (May-June 1987) 3-7.
Johnson, Richard S.
How to Locate Anyone Who Is or Has Been in the Military, Fourth Edition.
Fort Sam Houston, TX: Military Information Enterprises, 1991.
- Veterans magazines and organizations:
MarineLink Reunions Page (Reunions for all services)
700 North Pennsylvania St
PO Box 1055
Indianapolis, IN 46206
Military Officer Magazine
TROA, 201 N Washington Street
Alexandria VA 22314-2539
34th and Broadway
Kansas City, MO 64111
Air Force Magazine publishes unit reunions.
Air Force Association
1501 Lee Highway
Arlington, VA, 22209-1198
Air Force Times
6883 Commercial Drive
Springfield VA 22159
475 School Street SW
Washington, DC 20024
The Naval Historical Center maintains a list of magazines that publish reunion announcements:
Shift Colors newsletter for Navy retirees, and list of other veterans' publications:
Fleet Reserve Association
124 N. West St
Alexandria, VA 22314
6883 Commercial Drive
Springfield, VA 22159-0260
Sea Power Navy League of the US 2300 Wilson Blvd Arlington, VA 22201-3308 http://www.navyleague.org/sea_power/
Quantico, VA 22134
Marine Corps Times Magazine
US Merchant Marine:
US Merchant Marine Veterans of WWII
PO Box 629
San Pedro, CA 90731.