Michelle Ann Kratts

Posts Tagged ‘Finding My Grandfather’s War’

Part 1: Finding My Grandfather’s War

In Arthur E. Barthel, Finding My Grandfather's War, Off to War on December 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm


My grandfather, Arthur E. Barthel


One of the reasons that I have always pursued genealogy was because of my grandfather, Arthur E. Barthel.  I barely knew him, but the little bits and pieces of the stories I have heard about his war service have intrigued me since I was a little girl.

There were whispers about my grandfather.  He was depressed at times.  I can see that sadness in his eyes in the pictures I have of him.  Later I learned that my grandfather suffered emotionally as a result of his service during the war.  In fact there is a card that was issued by the VA with his name and disorder imprinted upon it.   The disability for which treatment is authorized–nervous disorder.  In other words, PTSD–Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It was more of a secret than anything else back in those days.  Today it is more widely discussed as veterans return from our present wars suffering from the same disorder.  As a nation, we have finally come to a realization that war is a miserable affair.  Men and women inevitably have difficulty accepting the things that they have experienced during war.


VA Card 1 Nervous Disorder


Thanks to my aunt, who has recently uncovered an amazing treasure trove of information regarding my grandfather’s service, I may be able to find the details of this part of his life.  Researching World War II service is not easy.  It might be said that researching an individual who served during the Civil War is much easier–thanks to the huge fire of 1973 in which the majority of Army and Army Air Force Records were destroyed.

This series of stories will follow my search for my grandfather’s war and will hopefully aid you as you search for your grandfather’s war.

On Tuesday, January 15th, at 6:00, the Lewiston Public Library will be offering a free genealogy class to the public:  Searching our Ancestors Using Military Records.  This class, presented by Jim Lawson,  a FamilySearch Center librarian and expert in military records, will  include an in-depth look into locating and researching various American military records for genealogical purposes.  There will also be a presentation by the Daughters of the American Revolution. This will include details about membership as well as research methods for filling out the application.