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Center for Women Veterans (CWV)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) - Locating Other Veterans

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1.  How do I locate a buddy whom I served with in the military?

The Privacy Act obliges the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), as a Federal agency, to protect the privacy of Veterans’ personal information.  Therefore, VA cannot release personal information about a Veteran in its records system without that person’s permission.  VA can, however, forward a message from you to the Veteran, providing VA has a current address on record.  Write your message to your friend and place it in an unsealed, stamped envelope.  Include a note to VA explaining who it is that you are trying to reach and add as much identifying information as you have.  Put all of this in another envelope and address it to the nearest VA Regional Office.  If the Veteran is in VA records, your message to the Veteran will be sealed and the envelope will be sent to the address on file for the Veteran.  It is then up to the Veteran to contact you.  This process is designed to protect the privacy of Veterans, as required by law.  If you have questions, you may call VA at 1-800-827-1000.

You may also contact the Women In Military Service for America Memorial (WIMSA) located at the ceremonial entrance of Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, VA, at 1-800-222-2294.