OAS is a free national genealogy training program for Wounded Warriors and their families. It provides participants with the knowledge and tools that allow them to conduct their own genealogy research as they recover from their injuries at military hospitals and VA medical facilities across the country.
The OAS program was initiated by the NSSAR and is conducted through its state societies and local affiliate chapters and volunteer members. OAS does not charge any participant for the training and resources provided and it is not a recruiting tool for the SAR.
The national committee evolved from a local program developed at the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center (now the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center) by the DCSSAR. The program proved so successful that Ancestry.com became a major national sponsor, contributing a $180,000 grant over three years, renewable for another three years after the initial period.
A National Chairman presides over the OAS Committee. Each State Society shall have its own OAS Chairman to spearhead these efforts and organize each state’s program. State chairmen shall serve as ex officio members of the national committee. Additional members shall be appointed as necessary in order to perform the work of the committee as stated in its functions.
State OAS Committee Members shall be volunteers who desire to share the genealogy expertise within the SAR in order to give back to the Wounded Warriors who were injured in their service to our nation. They provide injured service members with the knowledge and tools they need to conduct their own genealogy research in training classes, work sessions, individual hands-on assistance, and most notably, access to Ancestry.com databases.
1. Help target the military medical facilities within the respective states that are most open and receptive to offering the OAS program to their Wounded Warriors.
2. Help identify the key personnel at those facilities and ensure that the facilities have adequate meeting space and computer facilities.
3. Help match the facilities with the leadership of the SAR local chapters in their closest geographic proximity in order to ensure adequate volunteer support.
4. Ensure that the state and local OAS committees are "visionary," meaning that they will not only serve the needs of the Wounded Warriors while they are inpatients, but that they will collaborate with local genealogical societies, lineage societies, libraries and other organizations as appropriate for support with training, reintegration and mentoring after they transition back to their local communities.
5. Ensure that the SAR’s greatest resources – our MEMBERS in local chapters across the country, in concert with our State and National Societies – continue to develop Operation Ancestor Search as the preeminent SAR program, not only for us, but for our OAS partners who provide the resources that support our nation’s Wounded Warriors and their families.