Categories

Subscribe!

Screen Shot 2022-04-21 at 3.33.50 AM

RI Veterans: Did you know? 21 April 22 – John A. Cianci

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

How to Obtain Medals, Awards, and Ribbons

Start off with a question from one of our readers.

Q:  I would like to get my late husband’s awards and medals for a shadow box. Where do I start knowing what awards and ribbons and how do I get them? Concetta, Woonsocket RI

A:  The starting point is to review your late husband DD214 and other discharge papers. Next, determine what branch of service he served in, which will help you identify where to send the request. In your case, Concetta, your husband served in the Navy.

Navy

Request in writing or via internet, National Archives, https://vetrecs.archives.gov/VeteranRequest/home.htmlWhere to write for medalsNational Personnel Record Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138 or
REQUEST MEDALS ONLINE!
Where medals are mailed fromNavy Personnel Command
PERS 312
5751 Honor Drive
Building 769 Room 158
Millington, TN 38055-3120
Where to write in case of a problem or an appealDepartment of the Navy
Chief of Naval Operations (DNS-35)
2000 Navy Pentagon
Washington, DC 20350-2000

More information on military awards and decorations from the National Archives:

Military Awards and Decorations

The National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) does not issue service medals; that is a function of each military service department. Requests for the issuance or replacement of military service medals, decorations and awards should be directed to the specific branch of the military in which the veteran served. However, for cases involving Air Force and Army personnel (click here for exceptions), the NPRC will verify the awards to which a veteran is entitled and forward the request along with the records verification to the appropriate service department for issuance of the medals. Use the addresses listed below and mail your request accordingly. 

How Do I Request Military Awards and Decorations?

For the Veteran: in general, the military services will work replacement medal requests for the veteran at no cost. This includes family members with the signed authorization of the veteran.

For the Next-of-Kin: the process (and cost) for replacement medals requests differs among the service branches and is dependent upon who is requesting the medal, particularly if the request involves an archival record. Click here for details.

For the General Public: if the service member separated from military service before 1961, the public may purchase a copy of the veteran’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) to determine the awards due and obtain the medals from a commercial source. If the service member separated after 1961, the public may request such information from the OMPF via the Freedom of Information Act (see Access to OMPFs by the General Public).

ARMY

Where to write for medalsNational Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138 or

REQUEST MEDALS ONLINE!
Where medals are mailed fromU.S. Army TACOM
Clothing and Heraldry (PSID)
P.O. Box 57997
Philadelphia, PA 19111-7997

Air Force – includes Army Air Corps and Army Air Forces

Where to write for medalsNational Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138 or

REQUEST MEDALS ONLINE!
Where medals are mailed from, and where to write in case of a problem or an appealActive Duty Veterans Reserve & Air Guard Veterans Headquarters Air Force
Personnel Center
HQ AFPC/DP1SP
550 C Street West, Suite 12
Randolph AFB, TX
78150-4714 Air Reserve Personnel Center
HQ ARPC/DPTARA
18420 E Silver Creek Ave Bldg 390 MS 68
Buckley AFB, CO 80011

Marine Corps

Where to write for medalsNational Personnel Record Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138 or
REQUEST MEDALS ONLINE!
Where medals are mailed fromNavy Personnel Command
PERS 312
5751 Honor Drive
Building 769 Room 158
Millington, TN 38055-3120
Where to write in case of a problem or an appealCommandant of the Marine Corps
Military Awards Branch (MMMA)
2008 Elliot Road
Quantico, VA 22134

Coast Guard

Where to write for medals, and where medals are mailed fromCoast Guard Personnel Service Center
4200 Wilson Blvd, Suite 900 (PSC-PSD-MA)
Stop 7200
Arlington, VA 20598-7200
Where to write in case of a problem or an appealCommandant U.S. Coast Guard
Medals and Awards Branch
(PMP-4)
Washington, DC 20593-0001

Important Information for the Next-of-Kin (NOK):

Who is the Next-of-Kin (NOK)?

  • 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.

How the type of record (archival or non-archival) affects NOK requests for medals:

The Official Military Personnel File (OMPF) is used to verify awards to which a veteran may be entitled. OMPFs are accessioned into the National Archives, and become archival, 62 years after the service member’s separation from the military. Separation from service is defined as discharge, retirement or death in service based on a rolling date. (To calculate this, take the current year and subtract 62.) Records with a discharge date of 1960 or prior are archival and are open to the public. Records with a discharge date of 1961 or after are non-archival and are maintained under the Federal Records Center program. Non-archival records are subject to access restrictions. As such, the veteran’s date of separation (separation is defined as discharge, retirement or death in service) will affect how the request is processed. See below:

NEXT-OF-KIN, MEDAL REQUEST

Veteran’s Separation DateArmy, Navy, and Marine CorpsAir Force and Coast Guard
If the veteran separated from military service
before 1960
Requests are accepted at
NO COST Write to: National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138 or Or  REQUEST MEDALS ONLINE!
These Services do not accept NOK archival requests. The NOK may purchase a copy of the veteran’s OMPF to determine the awards due and obtain the medals from a commercial source
If the veteran separated from military service
after 1960
Requests are accepted at
NO COST Write to: National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138 or Or  REQUEST MEDALS ONLINE!
Requests are accepted at
NO COST Write to: National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, MO 63138 or Or  REQUEST MEDALS ONLINE!
WHAT MAKES A RECORD ARCHIVAL?   Learn more

By tradition, shadow boxes are typically presented to members of the military upon retirement. These shadow boxes will usually contain the various medals and awards a person has earned through a military career, the flags of both their country and their military service branch, and their final badge of rank.

Sadly, most veterans procrastinate and fail to complete a shadow box to tell the veteran’s story to his family.

The Italian American War Veterans of the United States offers free service assisting veterans, spouses of deceased veterans, next of kins, and or any family member who wants to build a loved one shadow box. For assistance, contact the Italian American War Veteran of US Service Officer, 401-677-9828.

eterans, surviving spouses, and next of kins can always contact his/her congressional veteran liaison to assist in obtaining medal, ribbons, and or awards. Veteran shadow boxes define a veteran’s legacy.

EVENTS

Sunday, April 24, 2022, 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Jeep Life of the Northeast will be supporting local veteran’s group, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island. The event will be held at Howie’s at 1525 Smith Street in North Providence. Jeep enthusiasts and veteran supporters will come together to raise funds and collect gasoline gift cards for local veterans in-need.  The event will feature a display of off-road vehicles, outside barbeque and bar, and raffles.  All proceeds, as well as donated gift cards, will go to Operation Stand Down Rhode Island, assisted veterans in need with housing, employment and training, legal and benefit assistance as well as basic human needs since 1993. The organization annually serves over 2000 Rhode Island veterans and is headquartered in Johnston, Rhode Island. “Coming from a military family, I know how important it is to support our service members who return home and struggle with the visible and invisible scars of war.  This is a fun event for those of us who love off-road vehicles and it helps those who really deserve it, “ said Gale Aguiar, co-founder of Jeep Life of the Northeast.  

“Jeep Life of the Northeast has generously supported Operation Stand Down Rhode Island for the past several years.  Like many Americans, our in-need veterans are struggling with rising food and fuel costs, making it difficult for them to maintain stable housing and overcome other barriers”, said Erik Wallin, Executive Director of Operation Stand Down Rhode Island.

About Jeep Life of the Northeast – this group of Jeep owners and enthusiasts explores new adventures through interactive activities including legal off-roading, fundraising, visiting local establishments, camping and more.

Marine Corps League Open House second Wednesday of every month from 6 to 8pm. Reserve Center, Narragansett Ave, Cranston. The Department of Rhode Island of the Marine Corps League is looking to add some more ranks. If you are Active Duty, Marine veteran or Navy personnel who served with the Fleet Marine Force and miss the camaraderie , serving your community, enjoying time with those who understand you than this is the organization for you.

If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci, itamri4vets@gmail.com, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)

The Department of Rhode Island of the Marine Corps League is looking to add some more fire teams to its ranks.  If you are Active Duty, Marine veteran or Navy Personnel who served with the Fleet Marine Force and miss the camaraderie, serving your community, enjoying time with those who understand you then this is the organization for you.! The Marine Corps League was founded in 1923 and chartered by the United States Congress, which occurred in 1937.  The mission of the league is to promote the interest and preserve the traditions of the United States Marine Corps; strengthen the fraternity of Marines and them families, serve Marines and Navy personnel who wear or who have worn the Eagle, Globe and Anchor, and foster the ideals of Americanism and patriotic volunteerism. The league is a national organization with Departments in every state including Hawaii.  Each Department has Detachments, the number of detachments vary on the size of the state and the membership in a particular area.  Rhode Island currently has three detachments. 

RESOURCES

AARP offers a free career center for veterans, http://campaigns-aarp-org-stage.targetclose.com/veteran-job-center . The center offers a free course, Veterans Career Advantage,  job search tool for companies seeking veteran employees, link to access what a good resume looks like, and other tips for veterans seeking employment. 

DISCOUNTS

Restaurants

Applebee’s – Military Discount … With more than 2,000 locations, Applebee’s is a family grill restaurant. Applebee’s gives 10% off for active duty and veteran. Last verified 07/31/2028

Denny’s – Hartford Ave, Johnston offers 10% discount for veterans and active duty . Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain.  Last verified 07/31/2028 (PS I had breakfast there on Saturday).

Outback Steakhouse – 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021

99 Restaurant & Pub – The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID

Retailers

Advance Auto Parts – 10% for Active Duty, Veterans, and families. Last verified 07/28/2021

Bass Pro Shops –  Offers a 5% discount to active-duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store (source).

BJs Wholesale – Reduced membership fee. BJ’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021

Lowes – Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to activate your 10% discount

“Our way of saying Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items.

Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner, ID.me.

ID.me is our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe.

GameStop – is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through ID.me

Home Depot – Offers a 10% off military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer.

Kohls – 15% discount offers for active military, veterans, retirees, and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. In order to receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type.

Jiffy Lube – HONORING VETERANS ALL DAY EVERY DAY! We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 15% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at select locations listed below:

Tioque Ave, Coventry RI

Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI

Park Ave, Cranston RI

Michaels – offers a 15% off military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, veterans, and family members. How to get –

1.    Create an Account. Log in or create a Michaels Rewards account.

2.    Get Verified. Provide your military information to get verified instantly.

3.    Go Shopping! To use your discount online and in store, just sign into your account or provide your Michaels Rewards phone number at checkout.

O’Reilly Auto Parts – 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans and families. Last verified 3/4/21.

_____

If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward , itamri4vets@gmail.com:  the business’s name , location, and military and veteran discount offered.

If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci, itamri4vets@gmail.com, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)

_____

To read all columns in this series go to: https://rinewstoday.com/john-a-cianci/

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.