Military medals are heavily cherished by veteran families. They often serve as a reminder of how lucky we are to live in America. Losing one or needing a replacement medal is a tough thing to deal with – particularly if they are from a couple generations back. Here is how to get lost military medals:
- You can contact the respective branch of service to request new military medals
- If you’re in the army, air force, or army air corps, send your request to National Personnel Records Center (NPRC)
- One key question: are you the veteran that the medal was awarded to, next of kin, or general public? The veteran and next of kin can usually gain these replacement medals. If you aren’t in relation or not the veteran, then your chances of getting a replacement are much lower. Here is some guidance:
- For the Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps & Coast Guard, the NOK is defined as: the un-remarried widow or widower, son, daughter, father, mother, brother or sister.
- For the Army, the NOK is defined as: the surviving spouse, eldest child, father or mother, eldest sibling or eldest grandchild.
- If you do not meet the definition of NOK, you are considered a member of the general public.
You can download all required forms to get a medal replaced here: http://www.va.gov/vaforms/. Usually, you will need the veteran's branch of service, social security number, dates of service, and a signature from the veteran themselves or next of kin. Including the DD 214 form and other military records can help speed up the process.
We hope this helps guide you on your path to getting your medals back! You can find out more information about this process here.