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Paging kalashnikev
  • ahum May 31, 2014 - 3:42 pm #107199 Reply

    I have a situation I was wondering you might be able to help me with. I have a relative’s medals from ww2, and his burial flag, medals include bronze star, purple heart, ww2 victory medal, plus medals from his state, and also CIB and other things. I have no idea how you organize them in a shadowbox, nor the means (ie do you use glue, velcro?) as I completely lack any artistic ability (I had to write a paper in my 8th grade art class in lieu of making art, just to pass)… I return for help, either beers or shooting at the NRA range on me.

    courthound June 1, 2014 - 5:14 pm #107202 Reply

    Talk to the folks at Ship’s Hatch in the Crystal City Underground shops. They are very nice and helpful.

    We bought shadowboxes from there for our grandfathers’ flags. They sell other shadowboxes and can help you out.

    smiley456 June 1, 2014 - 7:29 pm #107203 Reply

    ahum, also suggest paying someone (framer?) to place and secure the metals, ribbon’s etc in the shadow box. Best for someone with experience to do it and do it right the first time. There is a specific order for the medals, awards, etc based on their “merit” and from which entity (service, state, country, etc) awarded it. On the other hand, no one is going to find fault if the placement isn’t perfect.

    Also, you may be able to get a copy of his service record and see which medals he was awarded, and which may be missing from your collection. Most can be purchased on line. That way the shadow box can be a complete representation of his service.

    Nice of you to take on this effort. It’s not as easy as some may think.

    Quoth the Raven June 2, 2014 - 9:01 am #107211 Reply

    I second the suggestion to go to Ship’s Hatch.  They know what they’re doing in there, and should be able to help you easily.

    ahum June 2, 2014 - 9:41 am #107217 Reply

    Argh. Do you think they’ll help (for money of course) organize a shadowbox I already have? I already own it, was just interested in help how to place the awards/medals in it..

    smiley456 June 2, 2014 - 10:11 am #107220 Reply

    Yes, no reason they won’t help arrange it. It’s both an art and a science. Or they may refer you to the local Veterans organization (VFW, etc). Maybe VFW first at:

    200 Maryland Ave., N.E.
    Washington, D.C. 20002

    ahum June 2, 2014 - 10:49 am #107227 Reply


    courthound June 2, 2014 - 11:15 am #107228 Reply

    It wouldn’t hurt to call them and ask.

    1677 Crystal Dr, Arlington, VA 22202
    (703) 413-6289

    peach June 2, 2014 - 3:49 pm #107261 Reply

    I used Frank’s Engraving on Columbia Pike when I did a shadow box.  They did an excellent job.  They do a ton of work for Pentagon employees so military stuff is their specialty.

    http://franksengraving.com/  Next to Twisted Vines.


    KalashniKEV June 3, 2014 - 11:09 am #107301 Reply


    Sorry I missed this one for a couple of days… I’m completely overwhelmed by the process of moving (my shop/office… don’t get too excited Mr. Mehoo/Drax/ARL/Josh_S/Sponge Josh/whatever you are today!)

    Good advice above, I would definitely try to find a copy of his DD214, which will list all the awards he is authorized.

    Next, I would go here: http://rackbuilder.armyawards.com/build/my_rack/1/standard_ribbons to determine the order of precedence for the ribbons.<span id=”ctl00_ctl00_ctlPagePlaceHolder_ctlContentPaneBodyPlaceHolder_ToUserNameLabel”></span>

    You will also see any badges, tabs, or other devices he is authorized on his DD214- Jump Wings, Ranger Tab, CIB, etc…

    Next I would research his longest serving unit of assignment, or the unit he deployed with. It would be a nice personal touch to include, say… a regimental insignia, or a 506th spade, or a service cap insignia or something.

    Lastly, if you had anything really personal he carried in the war- a lighter, a knife, a pen or anything, that would really set it apart from the run of the mill shadowbox.

    If you’re handy, you can put it together yourself on some matting and a frame from a craft store, it would be a labor of love, and you’ll get it exactly the way you want it in terms of placement/ balance and what’s on it. (I was given regimental colors with a Glider Infantry badge included and I always thought about pulling them out and replacing them with a tab or a campaign ribbon or something else)

    Let me know if you’d like any help.

    ahum June 3, 2014 - 11:25 am #107306 Reply

    Wow, thanks for all the great advice. I believe I have all the medals/badges, but Ill check out the DD214. he was 88th infantry division. I used to have a patch (looks like a blue 4 leaf clover – they were called the blue devils) but It’s been years since I’ve last seen it, I could add that to it.

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