US Veterans Administration Master Index - Rigid Indexing
I use the US Veterans Administration Master Index a lot for a WWI project. It has invaluable information on WWI military personnel. I love having it available full-text and not just summarized as on Ancestry.com. But it has limited, inflexible, rigid indexing compared to other Family Search databases, which makes it easy to think there is no data on a soldier when it does exist.
For example, consider Clarence George Larson, born in Wisconsin in 1893 and died in California in 1964. If you searched only his name and those birth/death dates and places, the result for VAMI is zero - nothing available.
Larson was living in California when his name was entered into this VA pension file, but the fact that you input California as his death location carries no weight. The way to find Larson's VAMI card is to input only his name and California as his residence. Or just his name. Because many men were mobile after WWI and changing residences, finding the VA record is challenging if they have a common name and you don't know where they were living post-war.
To search this file successfully means inputting as little as possible into the search fields, which can be problematic. Often I do a second search with minimalist data if I want success. Inputting geographic locales for birth and death often prevents your getting a result.
The end result is that many people, I am sure, do not see a VAMI record when one exists because they have input parameters into their searches which VAMI finds too limiting.