Are you interested in learning about the military death files created in World War I, World War II, Korea and Vietnam? Would you like to understand the job of the American Graves Registration Service and how they handled our war dead? Then this webinar is for you!

This 1.5 hour webinar will focus on the history and jobs of the men who worked in the American Graves Registration Service. Then we will explore the Individual Deceased Personnel File and discuss why you need this vital record. Finally, take a journey with me in the footsteps of my cousin James Privoznik, through his military records and path through Europe to his death and burial. Learn how I told his story.

Learn more and register here to save your spot. This is the final time I’m teaching this course.

© 2020 World War II Research and Writing Center

Today, 75 years ago, my cousin James Privoznik was Killed In Action during the Battle of the Bulge.

James Privoznik, right

James entered my life in 2012 after I moved out and was preparing to get a divorce. Raising my boys, creating my business into something more than it was, he was there to help guide me, bring people (both living and dead) into my life to help me shift from a genealogy business to create the military business I run today. He brought some trials into my life to see how strong I was. He brought adventure and travel into my life to walk with me where he served, fought, and died. And he brought love into my life – my now husband Johan arrived in Chicago on the anniversary of James’ death to meet me. The rest is history which you can read in my memoir, I Bring Dead Guys Home.

In the spring of 2015 I went to Europe the first time to walk in James’ footsteps. To fly his final burial flag over the Luxembourg Cemetery where he’s buried. And, to walk in the woods where he was killed. I questioned then, as I do now, how can you love someone so much you never met? I feel that way about James. He had such an impact on my life, long after his death. He remained with me until 2017 before I got married, and asked to be sent to the Light. I did as he requested and helped him cross over. It was a beautiful moment. He does appear now and then, but not like he used to. Our primary journey was complete and we helped each other heal on so many levels.

Jennifer Holik at Luxembourg Cemetery after flying James’ flag

I remember James often and talk about him when I teach, but today especially, I light a candle for him and thank him again for entering my life. For loving me so fully. For bringing me all the people and opportunities that I needed to create what the world required. To help me heal and grow. To help me learn lessons that are still helping me create what the world needs even today. James is a gift that keeps on giving in big and small ways.

Would you like to know more? You can read James’ story in my book Stories of the Lost.

Disclaimer – the book link is an affiliate link. It does not affect the price you pay.

© 2020 Research A Veteran


It has been more than 100 years since the U.S. entered World War I. Because of this anniversary, many people are beginning to investigate their World War I soldier’s history. A lot of people think all the records burned, as was the case with many World War II personnel files. While the fire did destroy some World War I files, there are still so many other records you can obtain.

Did you know that all soldiers, sailors, and Marines who died or are still considered Missing In Action (MIA) in World War I have a death record called a Burial File? This is the World War I equivalent of the World War II Individual Deceased Personnel File (IDPF). This is one file you want if your soldier, sailor, or Marine died during the war.

A couple of years ago on my WWII site, I wrote an article about U.S. Army Transports. These USAT transported both living soldiers and the dead. My great grand uncle, Michael Kokoska was one such soldier.

The Burial File contains information on a soldier’s death, temporary burial overseas, correspondence from the family, and final burial details. Michael Kokoska’s contains a lot of handwritten letters from his parents begging for word on his burial location and return of his remains. The letters are heart breaking.

There is also a document, written a year after Michael died, about the cause of his death. Is this really what happened? Perhaps. For now it is all I have to go on about the cause of his death. While Michael’s file was difficult and sad to read, it provided a lot of information on his service.

Wold you like to know more? View the Burial File for Michael Kokoska. Watch a short video about Michael.

Would you like to know more about Michael and his life? In my book, Stories of the Lost, you can read Michael’s full story.

©  2019 Jennifer Holik


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