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Tips on how to search for military buddies

by Donald Yarbrough - ducky2 at sbcglobal dot net - 309-689-0449
a recent demonstration of success ;-))
Web page started Jan 9, 2011, updated through Jan 12, 2011

My name is Donald (byrd) Yarbrough and Ed Thelen asked me to consider writing a Tips Book on how to search for army buddies, because I've had some fairly good success in this arena.
This is a picture of Donald at SF-88 in September 2014, at his position of switchboard operator and computer operator ;-))

Because of his request this information will be coming and hopefully this can help you to not waste as much time as I have by making mistakes.

One of the first things I want to present is a tip I received from Ron Pickenpaugh who did the Red Canyon Reunion several years ago.

Before I continue, I want to express my total appreciation to Ed Thelen (Don says embarrassingly kind things). Also a huge thank you to Ron Pickenpaugh for his efforts in teaching me how to approach searching and also his kindness he also has shown me.

In this tips book you will see a letter dated December 20, 2010

This letter is exactly as you need to write except you need to put in your specific years you need and also the exact unit name and location that you are requesting rosters on.

Also I have included a letter sent back to me from national personnel records center, which is where you send your letter to do the request. I have a fax number also on the top of this letter which allows you to get the process going quicker if you desire.

Here is how it works.

Once you submit the request, you will receive a letter from them requesting a money order for around $8.00 and after they send you the rosters, they will bill you for the difference you owe. The search fees are only $8.50 per hour and it is fairly inexpensive. They will start the search once they receive the money order and what is really Awesome about the rosters is that they have the full name including middle initial which you will see later, comes in handy for locating people.

Also please note that this records center does not have any rosters after 1974, and I am In the process at this time at locating a place that might have the later rosters and will let you know as soon as i can find the information.

Also 1 have asked Ed Thelen to make sure my number is displayed on here because I have no problem if you need to contact me for specific information as this is a labor of love to me and I'm happy to help my brothers and sisters.

The first tip after ordering rosters is to go to a search engine called (white pages) at HTTP:// and put in the first and last name and if you know the middle initial, put in the same box as the first name is in. Put the first name than skip a space and then put the middle initial and a period after the middle initial.

What will happen is all the names with that middle initial will come up first, before all the others and that helps you refine the search and it is so much easier.

Another nice feature of this site is that a lot of the names also show an age range of the person and that helps make it easier also. Just click any name and it will also in most cases show you the exact age of that person and also the names of some of the relatives. The relatives can come in very handy, because if you can't find a number on the person you are looking for, you can type in the last name of the person and the city they were from and it will show you all the people with that last name from that city and then you can look at your list of relatives and see if they have phone numbers there.

Keep in mind that only land line numbers that are listed will show up and no cell phones Or unlisted numbers will show up.

Also I must caution you that the numbers aren't always the most current, so sometimes they are disconnected, but overall it is fairly accurate. Another nice feature of this site is that you can actually see a link there that says neighbors and if you click it, you can actually see the neighbors and they also will have listed numbers there and you can call them and ask if they know who you are looking for. You must have a good gift of gab if you do this because many people are skeptical and if you choose to use this feature, please call me and I can instruct you on how to best approach this avenue.

Another search engine I use is HTTP:// and this can help sometimes if white pages don't work out, but white pages is the very best I've found that is free, which brings me to another point. You will see many search engines that want you to pay and I don't use them and I have already located over 700 people from our unit in less than 10 months. on the free sites.