Modern Collectors

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    nkomo
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    Name : Arch
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    Modern Collectors

    Post by nkomo on Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:09 am

    I am going to say this again for all modern collectors, especially those of us who collect OEF/OIF militaria. You need to start building your collection NOW! These two wars have seen an influx of non-issued items used by soldiers who get deployed to either theatre of operations. It is going to be a nightmare in a bit when OEF/OIF militaria picks up in popularity. I'm not suggesting that it isn't a nightare now, but it will only get worse. I truly expect this area of collecting to eventually reach the same level of popularity as Vietnam is now. Document every item you buy now. Do the research and include it with the uniform, patch, headgear, webbing, etc. Print off pictures, articles, roster lists, etc. and make yourself a binder to store these copies.

    That being said, you need to start building your reference library now as well. With almost every uniform I buy, I print off pictures or a brief synopsis of where that unit was deployed, what time period they were deployed, who they were engaged in fighting, and what type of uniform/equipment they would have used. The little bit of research you do now, will be invaluable in years to come.

    As of right now, you can buy items from these wars relatively cheap in comparison to other areas like WW2 or Vietnam. You can build a decent collection on a small collecting budget. That is why modern collecting is popular with the younger generation and beginning collectors...it's cheap in comparison. Not to mention, you can buy several quality modern items for the same price as one mediocre item from another war.

    This thread is not a slam on collectors of other eras of militaria. This is just a thread that needs to be posted. Think of how much history has been lost over the years due to non-documentation by collectors, veterans, family members of vets, etc. We modern collectors are in a unique position to document and preserve history of these artifacts before it is lost to time.


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    Always looking for Central American militaria 1965 to 1991. Especially items relating to Coronel Velasquez El Salvador Armed Forces

    nkomo
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    Re: Modern Collectors

    Post by nkomo on Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:39 am

    I am going to show you what I do with almost all my uniforms. Whenever I buy a new uniform, I will research the name on the uniform (if the name tape hasn't been removed). I will usually type in the rank, last name, and Shoulder Sleeve Insignia. This doesn't always get a hit on the internet, but sometimes it does and you'd be suprised what information you find. I have found articles written about these individuals, articles written by these individuals, pictures of these individual in country, pictures of these guys in combat, etc. That being said, officers are usually easier to research, but that is not always the case.

    After I research the name, I will research the unit or division the soldier was part of. You can do a generic Google search and usually find tons of information dealing with that specefic unit. This will usually tell you where the unit deployed, what time period it was deployed, where it was stationed in country, who it was engaged in fighting, etc. All of this information adds history (value as well) to your item in question.

    As I go along and find this information, I print off select bits of information and add to my "file" for this item. When all is said and sone, I will usually have 5-10 pages of information. After all these pages are printed, I will put them in an acid free plastic sheet. Finally, the plastic sheet with the info is kept with the uniform in a dry environment. I hang my sheets on the top portion of the hanger as can be seen from my pictures.

    This may seem like a lot of work for one item, but it really isn't once you get the hang of doing research. I do this research for two reaons. First, I do it so I can know the individual history of the piece. Second, I do it for my wife and children in case something would ever happen to me. With this information, they will know it is not a random piece of junk and has some historic value.

    If anyone needs help doing research on a uniform, feel free to ask me. I can't guarantee I'll be able to find anything, but I'll give it a shot. I hope my little thread can help someone. It certainly isn't high tech, but it works for me. Very Happy






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    Always looking for Central American militaria 1965 to 1991. Especially items relating to Coronel Velasquez El Salvador Armed Forces

    Feindflug
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    Re: Modern Collectors

    Post by Feindflug on Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:55 am

    Not to offend you in anyway Arch but this isn't as easy with every specific field of collecting.
    E.g. when I started getting into the australian patch area I tried exactly what you described by putting up my own small database with all the information I could find on the Internet, from ppl I talked to who share this field with me.
    I think it depends on the way OpSec is handled by the country of your interest. Australia for instance is pretty hard to come by especially when you live overseas. Germany....even worse although I live here.
    I had to learn it the hard way with my volunteer work at a military hospital here in Germany. I can't go into details but in the end I succeeded with my effort in other cases I couldn't because of Op- & PerSec.

    I think the way you do this research is, like you stated, very important and I will definitly save possibly lost information for future generations.

    I really hope this doesn't offend you in any way since it is really not my intention to do so.

    filupe
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    Re: Modern Collectors

    Post by filupe on Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:35 pm

    I think it's well worth doing .. I have a few named DCU/BDUs which I haven't done any web research on. BTW, those into modern would be well advised to check out 'Restrepo', which recently won best doco @ Sundance Film Festival: www.restrepothemovie.com

    CollectinSteve
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    Re: Modern Collectors

    Post by CollectinSteve on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:08 pm

    Excellent post Arch. As a collector of older things I am often not convinced by some guy telling me an obviously commercial bit of kit was used by a special forces this or that unit. Without some documentation that the item I'm looking at wasn't bought off the shelf and worn by an Airsofter, or even used by someone in a service at all in any form, I remain skeptical. That's because 99 out of 100 times it is nothing special and I should not waste my time and money on it. Documentation makes all the difference.

    I do understand Filupe's point, though, that documentation isn't always that easy. So I think of Arch's position as the "ideal" and everything else is a best effort to get to that point. Just remember that the more information you have, especially if it is specific to the actual item in hand, the better it will be later on. Even if it is as simple as "I purchased this from a guy who was attached to US Army training personnel in Anbar from 2006 to 2007". That's better than "I got this off eBay and I have no idea where it came from".

    Steve

    bond007a1
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    Re: Modern Collectors

    Post by bond007a1 on Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:50 pm

    That may be easy if you have a General's uniform or some "star" officer, but to track down some unknown grunt is next to impossible....hell even special forces is basically impossible to do as well..even if you have a guy's name. Luckily...like the Air Force Special Forces fellow & the 2 7th group guys...I have the emails & their names...etc...so the stuff, I got from these guys..I have the history...or at least a tiny part of it. But to find a guy named Smith in the 3rd ID...you're basically wasting your time...

    But it is certainly AWESOME when you get the history behind it...similar to the set I just got of the USMF...I know wat unit he was with & what groups he was working with...just unfortunately there are more "who knows" stuff out there than "I have the history behind it" stuff


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    nkomo
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    Re: Modern Collectors

    Post by nkomo on Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:42 pm

    Feindflug wrote:Not to offend you in anyway Arch but this isn't as easy with every specific field of collecting.
    E.g. when I started getting into the australian patch area I tried exactly what you described by putting up my own small database with all the information I could find on the Internet, from ppl I talked to who share this field with me.
    I think it depends on the way OpSec is handled by the country of your interest. Australia for instance is pretty hard to come by especially when you live overseas. Germany....even worse although I live here.
    I had to learn it the hard way with my volunteer work at a military hospital here in Germany. I can't go into details but in the end I succeeded with my effort in other cases I couldn't because of Op- & PerSec.

    I think the way you do this research is, like you stated, very important and I will definitly save possibly lost information for future generations.

    I really hope this doesn't offend you in any way since it is really not my intention to do so.
    Please....you didn't offend me in the least. This is a forum where we openly discuss ideas as adults. If we go getting pissed at everything, then we won 't have good discussions. Very Happy

    You are absolutely correct....not all areas are as easy to research. As time goes by, the information that ia there can get lost, web sites shut dowm, etc. Right now, modern collectors are in a unique position to document what they find (for the most part). I am glad to see that you are at least trying to do that research....what little information that there is out there. How each country handles Op Sec is different.


    _________________
    Always looking for Central American militaria 1965 to 1991. Especially items relating to Coronel Velasquez El Salvador Armed Forces

    nkomo
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    Name : Arch
    Location : Kentucky, USA
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    Re: Modern Collectors

    Post by nkomo on Wed Feb 17, 2010 2:53 pm

    bond007a1 wrote:That may be easy if you have a General's uniform or some "star" officer, but to track down some unknown grunt is next to impossible....hell even special forces is basically impossible to do as well..even if you have a guy's name. Luckily...like the Air Force Special Forces fellow & the 2 7th group guys...I have the emails & their names...etc...so the stuff, I got from these guys..I have the history...or at least a tiny part of it. But to find a guy named Smith in the 3rd ID...you're basically wasting your time...

    But it is certainly AWESOME when you get the history behind it...similar to the set I just got of the USMF...I know wat unit he was with & what groups he was working with...just unfortunately there are more "who knows" stuff out there than "I have the history behind it" stuff
    You'd be suprised at what you can find on the grunts. It is not easy to say in the least, but you get lucky on some. Here is a link to a grouping for a Staff Sgt. I found in January of this year. The chances of me finding this soldier was very low, but with a half hour of research I found out where the soldier was from, what years he was in Iraq, and actually found a picture of him on patrol.
    http://iacmc.forumotion.com/bragging-rights-f36/some-new-finds-t2125.htm

    You are 100% correct about finding information on Special Forces soldiers. It just isn't going to happen, unless they are a higher ranking officer. A lot of the jobs they do are classified and are under the radar. I would rather have an anonoymous modifed DCU than have a dead Sgt. Major compromised by information found online about him and his team.


    _________________
    Always looking for Central American militaria 1965 to 1991. Especially items relating to Coronel Velasquez El Salvador Armed Forces

    Feindflug
    Junior Sergeant
    Junior Sergeant

    Name : Jens
    Age : 36
    Location : Augusta Treverorum, Germany
    Registration date : 2009-07-09
    Number of posts : 171

    Re: Modern Collectors

    Post by Feindflug on Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:08 am

    [quote="nkomo"]
    bond007a1 wrote:That may be easy if you have a General's uniform or some "star" officer, but to track down some unknown grunt is next to impossible....hell even special forces is basically impossible to do as well..even if you have a guy's name. Luckily...like the Air Force Special Forces fellow & the 2 7th group guys...I have the emails & their names...etc...so the stuff, I got from these guys..I have the history...or at least a tiny part of it. But to find a guy named Smith in the 3rd ID...you're basically wasting your time...

    But it is certainly AWESOME when you get the history behind it...similar to the set I just got of the USMF...I know wat unit he was with & what groups he was working with...just unfortunately there are more "who knows" stuff out there than "I have the history behind it" stuff
    You'd be suprised at what you can find on the grunts. It is not easy to say in the least, but you get lucky on some. Here is a link to a grouping for a Staff Sgt. I found in January of this year. The chances of me finding this soldier was very low, but with a half hour of research I found out where the soldier was from, what years he was in Iraq, and actually found a picture of him on patrol.
    http://iacmc.forumotion.com/bragging-rights-f36/some-new-finds-t2125.htm

    I can definitly confirm this point, but not to 100%.
    Although it's a bit off topic let me tell you this story.
    I already mentioned my volunteer work at a military hospital. This is only a small part of the organizations' complete 'support-work' for the deployed US soldiers.
    Within this organization of about serveral thousand members I'm also involved in their K-9 team and the adoption program.
    So the first thing when I receive an address of a soldier I start looking up his unit on global security to find what their main occupation is and by that what this soldier might need the most (small packed stuff to take on patrol rather than leisure stuff). Next I check on the location (COB, FOB, COP...PX available?) and last thing is the name and rank. The social media networks like Facebook or Myspace do a really great job there.

    Of course I have more info available than just the surname, maybe the rank from the uniform.
    But especially with the enlisted soldiers or NCO's this works quite well.

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