There are many ways to find “Lost” Military Brat friends using the Internet and other resources.
Here is a list of methods you may want to try, using the internet as a research tool. Please keep in mind that Military Brat Life does NOT endorse or receive any compensation from any of the websites listed below. These links are provided for you to use, and we cannot guarantee results.
Several of the links will provide contact information for a fee, and you are advised to review carefully the terms of any service you decided to pay for before you use them.
Keep in mind there are professional “skip tracers” who can be hired to find someone for you. Skip Tracers may have access to more reliable search tools and databases not easily available on the internet, and fees will be involved, so use caution.
Google.com is a fantastic free research tool. Most users never use the Advanced Search, and will get very general search results.
Let’s say I am looking for John Smith, and I know he graduated from Frankfurt American High School.
In the Google search field, I will type:
“John Smith” Frankfurt American High School
Notice that I put quote marks “ around John Smith. This forces Google to look for these two name together and in relation to the phrase “Frankfurt American High School”, which narrows the search. Changing the phrase after the quotes will yield different search results.
- Tip 1: You will get results from Classmates.com, and other websites, but only if the person you are looking for uses the Internet. You could try the technique above, but use other phrases after the name such as “Military Brat” or the post or base where you both lived.
- Tip 2: Keep in mind if the person you are looking for does not use the Internet, finding information about them using the above techniques may not yield any results.
- Tip 3: While Google is free to use, sometimes the results it will find will be a website that will charge you in order for you to get an actual phone number or email address.
- Tip 4: Google is a general information search engine, not a database of people, so what it good at is finding websites where a name has been used within it.
Using Social Network Website to Find “Lost” Friends
Another way to be found and to find “lost” friends is to consider setting up a Facebook page. Facebook.com is a social network, and has millions of members and while it can be overwhelming, it’s easy to set up a page and to search for friends within the many thousands of groups.
Linkedin.com is a great social networking website, geared toward professional or career relationships, and a few people I had lost touch with I worked with years ago have been found vial Linkedin. Like Facebook, it has thousands of groups, but most groups are related to professional organizations or topics.
- Tip 1: First of all, you have to be pro-active. Setting up a page on Facebook and waiting for someone to contact you is one approach, but it might take a long time for you to be found. But, having a page is great first step if your friend is looking for you.
- Tip 2: If you are looking for someone, log in monthly and look to see if they are listed. Also, Facebook and other social networks have groups which sometimes will attract the people you are looking for. If you can find and join an alumni related group, your chances for success will increase. Keep in mind it takes time and effort to maintain a social network presence.
Classmates.com is a commercial website that is free to search with, but you have to subscribe in order to actually contact people you may find on the website.
Many civilians and Military Brats are classmates.com members. If you are looking to be “found” by someone and to find others, a good strategy is to be listed in and to use several of these resources.
Classmates is relatively inexpensive, and it can be used to find several classmates. It is geared around high school and college, but makes the assumption that if you attended a school, you graduated there. Be sure to list all the schools you went to.
Classmates will email you from time to time when someone has visited your profile.
- Tip: Do not just sign up with Classmates.com and sit back. You must be pro-active if you are searching for someone.
The DODEA has a fairly comprehensive list of School Alumni pages which may be helpful when searching. In some cases there are email addresses for contacting the organization.
Please know that some of the links on the DODEA website may not work, but most do. Go to: http://www.dodea.edu/students/alumni_orgs.cfm
- Tip: Joining alumni groups and inquiring or looking on the alumni groups website for your lost friends is a very good strategy. Chances are good you may connect with mutual friends and cast a wider net.
Other Free and Low Cost Search Resources on the Internet
Here are several sites that may help in your search:
Keep in mind many of the above links will let you search for free, but will withhold actual contact information. There may be fees involved on a per contact basis in some cases.