Fold3 is the primary archive for US military records. Even though it is a subscription-based archive, it also has freely-accessible areas where the stories, photos, and personal documents of the men and women who served can be found. In addition to these memorial pages, Fold3 also hosts the Interactive Vietnam Wall and the USS Arizona Memorial.
The Fold3 name comes from a traditional flag folding ceremony in which the third fold is made in honor and remembrance of veterans who served in defense of their country and to maintain peace throughout the world.
Premium subscribers ($79.95/year) have access to the continuously growing collection of military records which begin with the American Revolution. Even free members have impressive access to search, browse and spotlight images and documents. They can create Memorial Pages to honor individual members of our armed forces. These pages can include personal images along with stories and comments. Fold3 has several record archives that are always freely available and often they will make certain premium archives available to all for a period of time – usually to commemorate an historical event.
As you can see in this example from the Browse area, it’s not unusual to find several free record sets available. Some are permanently free and some only for a short period so it’s worth checking in regularly.