Stress-Free Guide for writing a Military or Veteran Obituary.

Stress-Free Guide for writing a Military or Veteran Obituary. 0

Writing an obituary for anyone stinks, period. But sometimes it is one of those life tasks that we cannot avoid. I decided to write an article because we have received a lot of requests for help surrounding Military funerals and Veteran funerals.

What do you REALLY know about the Southwest Asia Service Medal?

What do you REALLY know about the Southwest Asia Service Medal? 0

Facts about the Desert Storm Veteran Southwest Asia Service Medal, Pocket Square Heroes Blog, Veteran Gifts, Military Gifts, Military Medals.
Things you may not know about the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

Things you may not know about the Afghanistan Campaign Medal. 0

The Afghanistan Campaign Medal (ACM) is a U.S. Military medal authorized and created by Public Law 108-234, dated 28 May 2004, and Executive Order 13363, dated 29 November 2004. The Office of the Under Secretary of Defense announced the establishment of campaign phases (see below) on 19 February 2008. 

Public law 109-163, dated 6 January 2006, amended the beginning date for Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and the date of eligibility for the Afghanistan Campaign Medal to 11 September 2001.

Individuals authorized the ACM must have served in direct support of OEF.

The area of eligibility (AOE) encompasses all land area of the country of Afghanistan and all air spaces above the land.

The Afghanistan Campaign Medal period of eligibility is on or after 11 September 2001 to a future date to be determined by the Secretary of Defense or the cessation of OEF.

Effective 31 December 2014, OEF is no longer an authorized qualifying operation for award of the ACM. Effective 1 January 2015, Operation Freedom's Sentinel (OFS) is an approved operation for award of the ACM.



11 SEPTEMBER 2001 – 30 NOVEMBER 2001




1 OCTOBER 2006 – 30 NOVEMBER 2009


1 DECEMBER 2009 – 30 JUNE 2011


1 JULY 2011 - 31 DECEMBER 2014




In order of precedence, the ACM will be worn before the Iraq Campaign Medal (ICM) and shall directly follow the Kosovo Campaign Medal (KCM) (i.e., KCM, ACM, ICM, GWOTEM, etc.). 

Medal Description

On a bronze metal 1 1/4 inches (3.18 cm) in diameter above a range of mountains is a map of Afghanistan. Around the top is the inscription “AFGHANISTAN CAMPAIGN.”


Afghanistan campaign medal Pocket Square Heroes™

On the reverse, a radiating demi-sun superimposed by an eagle’s head couped. Inscribed across the bottom half of the reserve side are the three lines “FOR SERVICE” “IN” “AFGHANISTAN” all enclosed by a laurel wreath.


Afghanistan campaign medal Pocket Square Heroes™


The designed Mountains dominate the landscape of Afghanistan. The map of the country highlights the theater of operation and our commitment to Operation Enduring Freedom.

The eagle, a symbol of the United States and the American spirit, is constantly vigilant, ready to defend freedom.

The rising sun embodies a new start for Afghanistan and its road to a free and prosperous future. The laurel wreath is for honor and high achievement.

The ribbon reflects the colors of the new Afghanistan flag and the red, white and blue represent the United States and its allies.


The ribbon is Emerald, Scarlet, Black, White, Scarlet and Old Glory Blue. 


Afghanistan campaign ribbon Pocket Square Heroes™


The following are related items:

  1. Medal (regular size): MIL-DTL-3943/318D. NSN 8455-01-527-8027 for set    which includes regular size medal and ribbon bar. 
  2. Medal (miniature size): MIL-DTL-3943/318D. Available commercially. 
  3. Ribbon: MIL-DTL-11589/593. Available commercially. 
  4. Lapel Button (ribbon replica): MIL-DTL-11484/312. Available commercially. 
  5. Pocket Square Heroes™ inspired Afghanistan campaign Pocket Square. 

The Afghanistan Campaign Medal (ACM) and Ribbon are very recognizable. It can be seen on bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs, posters, lapel pins, tie designs and now pocket squares.

See our version here


Afghanistan campaign medal Pocket Square Heroes™



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Are you missing any of your military records? I got replacements for no cost!

Are you missing any of your military records? I got replacements for no cost! 2

Honorable Discharge Pocket Square Heroes


Are you missing any of your military records? 

I got replacements for no cost, yes for FREE!

When I got out of the Marine Corps in 1997, I was issued my DD-214.  But I never received my Honorable Discharge Certificate the DD-256.

The other day, I decided to request one.  I figured this would require moving mountains.  I assumed a copy would not be archived in my service record book.

In the end, I was surprised how easy it was.  

Below are the instructions I followed to get a copy of my DD-256 for no cost from the National Records Archive.

I visited this page: Request Your Military Service Records Online, by Mail, or by Fax on

You can request a replacement DD 214/Separation Documents, Personnel Records, Replacement Medals, and/or Medical Records.

I filled my request using the eVetRecs system.  The online eVetRecs system creates the SF-180, Request Pertaining to Military Records to request information from your, or your relative's, military personnel records.

You may use this system if you are: a military veteran, or next of kin of a deceased, former member of the military.

The next of kin can be any of the following: a surviving spouse that has not remarried, and/or the members Father, Mother, Son, Daughter, Sister, Brother.

Your request must contain certain basic information for us to locate your service records.

This information includes:

  • Complete name used while in service
  • Service number
  • Social security number
  • Branch of service
  • Dates of service
  • Date and place of birth)
  • All requests must be signed and dated by the veteran or next-of-kin.
  • If you are the next of kin of a deceased veteran, you must provide proof of death of the veteran such as a copy of death certificate, letter from funeral home, or published obituary.

The website also addresses “Emergency Requests” like a Veteran’s Funeral which could require military records.

Below is the excerpt from

  • If your request is urgent (for example, upcoming surgery, a funeral, etc.) tell us the nature of the emergency and your deadline in the "Comments" section of eVetRecs or in the "Purpose" section of the Standard Form (SF) 180, Request Pertaining to Military Records.
  • Fax your request to our Customer Service Team at 314- 801-0764.
  • Call our customer service staff at 314-801-0800 if you have questions or require same-day service. 
  • Due to the large number of calls we receive at this number, hold times are often long. However, once you reach a technician, he or she will be happy to assist you with emergency service.

In the eVetRecs system was a drop-down menu listing the documents types you could be ordering and of course the DD-256 was not listed as an option.  

No worries, I explained in the comments section that I was requesting my DD-256.

When completed, I was issued a receipt number.  I printed the form, signed it and faxed the copy to the National Archive Records office.

The request was ultimately submitted online but required a hard signature.

DO NOT forget to fax/mail the hard signature, as archives will NOT complete the request without it.

In approximately 6 weeks, my “Honorable Discharge” certificate arrived in the mail.  I will be putting it in a frame and hang it in the man cave.

To start the process and for more details click here. 

Other stories you may like:

Who has received the title "Honorary Marine?

10 Things You May Not Know About The Vietnam Service Medal.

What do you REALLY know about the Southwest Asia Service Medal?


Veteran Gift, Military Gift




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