Many armchair researchers have become interested in ancestry and family trees thanks to the increasingly available access to genealogical resources, and the Freedom of Information Act can be valuable source for obtaining a relative’s military records. Several years ago, we requested my grandfather Anthony L. Battestella’s file– a surprisingly easy process, yielding a boon of research.
Here are a few tips to begin your research through the Freedom of Information Act.
Have as much of your family member’s information as possible.
The mail-in request form from the National Archives includes not only the basics such as name or maiden name, birth date, and address, but also social security number and military information such as branch and time of service. Simply writing ‘World War II’ or ‘Korea’ is too broad a search. Just listing ‘Army’ or ‘Marine’ is also too basic, especially when the branches have changed. Relatives must also realize such generic hear-tell may also be incorrect, and not being specific may lead to…
In writing a music column for this issue, I wondered what real-life heroes listen to for inspiration. After all, it’s one thing to combat one virus for a few months until a vaccine arrives. It’s quite another to combat several mutations of it while wondering if the vaccines produced will be effective, being short-staffed, lacking PPE, and acknowledging the fight as we surpass the one-year mark. What kind of music, if any, keeps them going? I put that exact question out there and here is what I discovered.
saying that in researching and gathering comments or interviews for this article, I have been awed by the humility of nearly everyone with whom I’ve spoken. The irony is that most frontline workers…
Name: Lillian Csernica Location: Santa Cruz, California
How has the last year dealing with COVID been for you?
On the one hand, it’s been business as usual because my older boy is medically fragile. We’re used to operating at a level just below hospital standards for an isolation room. On the other hand, I’m going a little crazy because I’m used to having a certain amount of alone time each day. Keeping both of my sons busy and entertained is a lot of work. It’s difficult to have enough energy left over for writing.
SEARCH Magazine is a little unusual, in that we always run a column on autism to raise awareness. How did you come to write about autism for SEARCH Magazine?
Through the wonderful and talented Emerian Rich (SEARCH Magazine’s original Editorial Director)…
Continue reading in the Summer 2021 magazine issue on Superheroes.
Guatemala is a small Central American country tucked in between the southern part of Mexico, the western part of Belize, and the northern parts of Honduras and El Salvador.
The capital city, Guatemala City, has a strong indigenous population that speaks twenty-three distinct Maya languages. My mother has family that lives in the capitol, and I’ve visited this city on and off for thirty years. Although I am familiar with various places, I always learn something new every time I go.
Let me give you some basics on the city first. It is home to one million people plus another three million in urban areas. It has a tropical climate, and the temperature is usually between seventy-two and eighty-two degrees Fahrenheit. The rainy season is from May to October and let me tell it’s no joke. I’ve seen it go from sunny to pouring buckets of rain, enough to flood the streets within five minutes…
Continue reading our Summer 2021 magazine issue on Superheroes.
Up in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s…my buddy Bruce in a cape jumping off his roof and breaking his arm! Oops.
Even after Bruce broke his arm, I wanted to be Superman. Or even Clark Kent, star reporter. I ended up being Jimmy Olsen, photographer. We all grew up wanting to be superheroes. I wanted to be Green Arrow and had the archery set and practiced in the front yard… until I shot an arrow in the air and it came down and hit the neighbor’s car two houses away. I wanted to be Aquaman and swim the oceans with the whales and sharks using my perfect dolphin kick…except I sank like a stone and couldn’t grow gills no matter how many fish sticks I ate. I dreamed of being The Flash…but couldn’t outrun my own bullies so I sure wasn’t saving anyone else.
My buddy Patrick and I wanted to be Spider-Men, but after climbing a very tall pinnacle of rock in the park, we couldn’t get down. No sticky webs, no Spidey-jumps, just a rope…and Mr. McGregor talking us down one hand-hold at a time…
For the first time in my life, the planet seems so much smaller. I regularly sit at home in the south of England, having video calls with my producer in Knoxville.
We’ve done this for a good few years now. The conversations usually started with, “How are things in your part of the world?” The very fact that the geographical distance between us means nothing to an invisible enemy is very telling, and so our calls inevitably begin now with something not unlike, “So how are you coping?”
I have family in Australia, and dotted across the UK, too. All of us, everywhere, have been touched by the events of the last year or so. We all have a common ground.
We all have to live our lives the same to keep ourselves, our families, friends, and strangers safe and free from this pandemic. Never has the need for respect and understanding of others been so demanded of us. For many, that’s a struggle. We’ve all seen the news footage of hordes of people worldwide who simply refuse to acknowledge social distancing measures or that there’s even a pandemic, but for the majority, it’s simply become part of our daily routines…
Continue reading in our Summer 2021 magazine issue on Superheroes.
Superheroes are the best! I mean, that’s the definition, right? We love to see them fly, fight crime, and generally save the world. Movies and comics abound with their exploits, but the label “superhero” is also thrown around to acknowledge the work of essential workers, doctors, single mothers, and more. Superheroes are the ones setting the broken world right again.
In our feature story this issue, Elliot Thorpe reflects on the human nature of superheroes. Alternately, Tim Reynolds has the power to make you smile as he recounts his not-so-super adventures. Take a break from tasks that feel like they take superhuman effort and imagine a trip to our spotlight city, Masterton, New Zealand. Even superheroes have alter egos that need to take out the trash, but you can be the hero at dinner by preparing our recipe for Raspberry Chipotle Chicken Salad. Need inspiration for your heroic feats? Enjoy Sumiko Saulson’s article about the Netflix show, Unknown Origins.
The days we get to help out a fellow human, save a distressed animal, or give a compliment, can make us feel more “super” than we did before. Let SEARCH Magazine inspire you to express the superhero in you.