Posted on: 22 February 2016
When you or a loved one has served this country in the military and received some of its highest awards and honors, you may have these items on display, or you may have them safely tucked in a footlocker for safekeeping. However, in the event of a fire, these precious accolades would be lost. If you have recently lost your military awards to a home fire, here is how you can replace them.
Go Through Proper Military Channels
You can take the documentation you have on your house fire, along with any remnants of your awards that you recover from the ashes, and apply for replacements through proper military channels. Many of these awards come with letters of accommodation, which (unfortunately) are even more likely to be destroyed in a fire. To recover all of the official documents and official rewards, your C.O. (commanding officer) can take your documentation and award application and pass them along up the chain of command to the correct military office. (Be sure to keep copies of the documents and pictures of any destroyed medals you find in case your application gets misplaced and you have to apply again.)
Buy Replacements from the Company That Officially Produces the Awards for the U.S. Military
The United States military contracts certain companies that make awards to produce awards for soldiers. If you find out what companies are contracted to make the awards you had received and lost in the fire, then you can bypass the paperwork through the military and buy your replacement awards from the manufacturer directly. Additionally, when these companies have heard that you lost your awards in a tragic fire, they may be willing to replace them for free when you show them your military records and/or documentation of the house fire. The only thing that the awards manufacturer cannot replace are your letters of accommodation, which you would still have to request through your C.O. and the military branch in which you serve (or have served).
Purchase Replacements from Online Auctions or Pawn Shops
Sometimes when a soldier passes away and his or her family does not want to keep his or her medals, the medals are auctioned off or sold through pawn shops by estate brokers. Even if the medals were once someone else's, you are keeping that person's memory and military honor alive by claiming his or her medals for your own. Thus, your medals lost in the fire are replaced by the medals and the honored dead that would have been lost to time. Check online auctions and pawn shops to keep these medals from disappearing.Share