The use and value of military records in genealogical research for ancestors who were veterans are obvious, but military records can also be important to researchers whose direct ancestors were not soldiers. The fathers, grandfathers, brothers, and other close relatives of an ancestor may have served in a war, and their service or pension records could contain information that will assist in further identifying the family of primary interest. Due to the amount of genealogical information contained in some military pension files, they should never be overlooked during the research process. Those records not containing specific genealogical information are of historic value and should be included in any overall research design.
Taken from Johni Cerny, "Research In Military Records." In Printed Sources: A Guide to Published Genealogical Records, ed. Kory L. Meyerink (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1998).