Thursday, April 28, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday - Military Record

A recent arrival in the mail makes Estel E. Dillman (my paternal grandfather) easily the best documented of any of my relatives.  I received his military service record from the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO.

I've wanted to do this for a long time, but never got around to actually following through the whole process.  Recently, I decided I should do this sooner, rather than later, in case some disaster in St. Louis might remove the record forever from access, such as the fire that destroyed the 1890 US Census records.  So I hit the eVetRecs website, looked up the record, and placed the request using the SF-180 form.  A couple of weeks later, I got notification that the records had been located and were available, and that a copy would be $60.00.  Well, I was unemployed at the time, and $60 would definitely be of more use in other areas, so I declined to order.  However, my folks agreed it would be a good idea to have a copy of the records, so they paid the fee and ordered the copy.

It took a few more weeks before the records arrived, and I began to see why it was so expensive.  The postage cost alone was nearly $8.00.  The copy sent is nearly a full ream of paper, all copied single-side.  The original records are no doubt, at least in part, on both sides, so would not occupy quite so much paper.

This is the full Navy Service Record of my grandfather, including medical and dental, of a service that lasted over 10 years in two separate blocks.  All of his schools are detailed.  All of his duty stations are noted, including many that I was never aware of, some of them short-term, for schools and such.  Advancement is detailed, and quarterly evaluation marks are all listed.  Medical and dental records include physical descriptions including tattoos and birthmarks, hair and eye color, height and weight, and so on.  Excellent stuff for genealogists!

I'll be scanning the entire record, thanks to a friend with a sheet-fed scanner.  I'll be posting example pages as well so you can see what is included, and perhaps be persuaded to order your own family members' service records.

Treasure Chest Thursday – create a post with the main focus being a family treasure, an heirloom or even an every-day item important to your family. A special thanks to Leslie Ann Ballou of Lost Family Treasures for suggesting Treasure Chest Thursday as a daily blogging theme!  (Blurb shamelessly stolen from Thomas McEntee at Geneabloggers!)