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Carl B. Bedell

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About

Operation Ancestor Search (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 SAR and is conducted through its state-level 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.

Operation Ancestor Search Committee Authority

The national Operation Ancestor Search 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 District of Columbia SAR. The program proved so successful that Ancestry.com became a major national sponsor of OAS, contributing a $180,000 grant over three years, renewable for another three years after the initial period.

Operation Ancestor Search Committee Members

A national chairman presides over the Operation Ancestor Search Committee. Each SAR state-level society shall have its own OAS chairman to spearhead these efforts and organize each society’s program. Society chairmen shall serve as 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-level committee members shall be volunteers who desire to share their genealogy expertise within the SAR in order to give back to the Wounded Warriors who were injured in service to the nation. These committee members 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.

Operation Ancestor Search Committee Functions

The Operation Ancestor Search Committee serves to:

  • 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;
  • Help identify the key personnel at those facilities and ensure that the facilities have adequate meeting space and computer facilities;
  • Help match the facilities with the leadership of the local SAR chapters in closest geographic proximity to ensure adequate volunteer support;
  • Ensure that the state-level and local SAR committees are “visionary,” in that the committee members will not only serve the needs of the Wounded Warriors while they are in-patients, but that the members will also collaborate with local genealogical societies, lineage societies, libraries, and other organizations as appropriate for support with training, reintegration, and mentoring after the veterans transition back into their local communities; and
  • Ensure that the SAR’s greatest resources, its members in local chapters across the country, in concert with its state-level and national-level societies, continue to develop the Operation Ancestor Search program as the preeminent SAR program, not only for itself, but for its OAS partners who provide the resources that support the nation’s Wounded Warriors and their families.