Collecting military medals of the United States (US) covers a wide area and are within reach for those of us on a limited budget. This blog covers primarily the conflicts from World War 1 up to the more recent Iraq War. There are a large amount of military and civilian medals available for service within the United States armed forces including the National Guard but due to the variance in the amount out there this blog mainly deals with the more popular medals available. The main conflicts of the 20th century can allow a less expensive area of collecting due to the sheer volume of medals awarded compared to the wars of the 19th Century and more recently the past 30 years. The medals from these conflicts especially British medals can be quite expensive for those wishing to begin medal collecting and there are the higher decorations from the first and second world wars that command a high price but generally service medals are available for purchase and all services in the United States are represented with their own medals especially for Achievement or Commendation. The one thing to remember here though in the United Kingdom (UK) is the lack of original issued US gallantry medals due to the reluctance by families to sell their family history and who can blame them. Recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have seen a rise in patriotism on both sides of the Atlantic and their unwillingness to part with medals associated with a loved one’s service to their country which can be seen mounted in shadow boxes adorning the walls of their homes. I have also found that some service personnel awarded medals whilst in the field would buy replacement medals on return from duty to wear on their uniform similar to British veterans having tailors copies made for parade rather than risk losing their originals. There are however US gallantry medals which were issued to UK personnel especially during WW2 which become available now and again on the market and I have been fortunate enough to obtain some of these for my own collection. One of the reasons for writing this blog is to pass on my knowledge of what to look for when collecting these medals and as you read further I hope you will have a better understanding of what you should be looking for before parting with your money.