Reunions are opportunities for old high school friends or relatives not seen in years to come together and relive fond memories, share recent news and pictures, and pick up nearly forgotten conversations.
For some, however, those days do not exist, not because they are unwilling to revisit the good old days but because they are unable to find information on such reunions. In the business of planning military reunions, it is not common for old friends to gather and speculate on missing buddies, and wonder what had become of them. With the many resources available to vets and reunion planners, however, there is the opportunity to fill in these gaps.
Internet Military Databases
When people think of the word veteran, more than likely the image of an older person comes to mind. We tend to think of our veterans as having served in long ago wars, people one might not find too often using the Internet. Quite the contrary, the percentage of senior citizens who use the Internet has gradually risen over the years, with a good number of Internet sites dedicated solely to improving the quality of life for the aging. One must note, too, that a military veteran need not be a older person – considering Desert Storm happened just more than a decade ago, veterans of that era may be in their thirties and forties!
The Internet provides a good number of resources for retired and former military seeking to reunite with old friends. Military.com and MilitaryConnections.com, for example, provide large databases of reunion information. A simple search for your former group may yield results. Further search through sites dedicated to each branch of the service may also prove beneficial.
Veteran and Military Publications
Access to any number of regular military publications is also very helpful in tracking down information on upcoming reunions. Many of the major national organizations for veterans, including the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Disabled American Veteran, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars has a corresponding publication sent to its members. From there you can search for information, and as many of these organizations are online you may find additional news through corresponding message boards.
Military Reunion Planners
Companies dedicated to planning military reunions and gatherings are naturally a good find. A simple search engine search for “military reunions” will yield a wealth of resources on such companies. When you find an organization like Armed Forces Reunions, Inc., you may find they are involved in planning the next meeting of your former group. You may be surprised, too, to know how many people were hoping you would show.
Kathryn Lively is a freelance writers who writes content for various websites, including Armed Forces Reunions, Inc. at http://www.afri.com, national planner of military reunions.