Military records have been a big help in building my family trees. Reading the records give lots of clues even when I look at them more than once. I started this research journey looking for maternal records and soon learned how women most often had less public records than men.
These photos and posters in this post are from the publicity efforts during WWII to engage African American men to enlist. Meanwhile, there's no mention on how too many in the South weren't able to have jobs other than sharecropping or risked the high probability of getting arrested and become absorbed into the convict leasing scheme.
My grandfathers were in WWII and I often asked them about their service and experiences while in the service. No need to guess that the stories included racism and discrimination. It has been an awesome experience to see the records that match the times of the stories that my grandfather shared.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES - REQUEST MILITARY SERVICE RECORDS
Military service records can be requested through the National Archives for DD 214 separation documents, official military personnel file (OMPF), replacement medals, and medical and health records.