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The National Defense Service Medal (NDSM) is awarded to anyone who has
served on active duty, or as an active reservist, in the United States Armed Forces
during any of four specified time periods
a veteran served on active duty during wartime or if he/she earned a
badge, that individual is considered a protected veteran.
The protected veteran must have served in ground, naval or air service during a
war or expedition for which a campaign badge was authorized by the Department
If a veteran's DD-214 or other military documentation confirms they have been
awarded one of these campaign medals and they have served honorably, then
they are eligible for membership in the Veterans of Foreign Wars.