The Dog Tag Project

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Njaco, Dec 31, 2007.

  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Feb 19, 2007
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    Animal Control Officer
    Southern New Jersey
    A reporter for a local newspaper here has been for many years doing a special project for Vietnam vets. I'm gonna post one of his articles but if you want to check out what he has done here is the link. Its worth it and I know this guy personnally. He believes in this with all his heart. Everything Jersey

    You know how, when someone gives you a gift and you wonder where their heads were when they bought this for you, you exhibit your most excited smile and say, "Wow! It's just what I wanted."

    Well, Gene Timmons just gave me three more dog tags from Vietnam. Wow! Just what I wanted.

    The truth is, we ARE trying, slowly, to match the approximately 450 dog tags we already have in hand with the people who lost them, or their survivors.

    How's that coming along? Not great. Three matches have been made. Dennis Hammond's sister got his dog tag back in 2001. We're in the process of returning a dog tag that belonged to a man named James L. Stowell. He died a few years ago, so we're sending the dog tag to his half-brother.

    A dog tag will also be sent to Ludwig Aske, who's alive and well and working for an American World War II cemetery in Italy.

    The hundreds of dog tags were purchased in Vietnam back in 1993 by Ray Milligan, a Marine Vietnam vet. The $100 I gave him and the 20 bucks he added to it purchased 450 or so tags. That's what? A little more than 26 cents apiece?

    For several years, people have tried to convince me the dog tags are fake, manufactured as part of a cottage industry in Vietnam, for sale to gullible tourists. Recently, though, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Task Force, Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii determined that most tags obtained in a similar manner are, indeed, genuine, and that there is no phony dog tag trade in Vietnam.

    Gene Timmons, a Marine gunnery sergeant in Vietnam, went back there a couple of weeks ago for the second time in two years. Before he left, he asked me what I wanted him to bring me.

    Despite having hundreds of unclaimed dog tags, my answer was simple: Bring back dog tags. So, despite my joking, they really ARE just what I wanted. It's such a daunting task, looking for matches. Even if we never find the owners of these corroded and aged pieces of tin, at least they're here in the U.S. and not there, being sold as tourist trinkets in the country where we lost more than 58,000 GIs.

    The price of dog tags has gone up in the past 12 years. Gene paid a buck apiece.

    Now there are three new names to add to our list: J.L. Moore, W.A. Cisneros, C. Cadiz, all Marines.

    Gene brought back souvenirs, of course: Vietnamese green tea. Carved marble desk nameplates from Marble Mountain, where he was seriously wounded and where 62 other GIs were killed or wounded. A baseball cap from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command. A decorative fan. A teak bracelet.

    Some of the souvenirs Gene will keep for himself: A flare-up of his malaria. Some healed emotional wounds and some newly inflicted ones.

    They'll heal, I think. That's why he goes back.
  2. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    Jul 10, 2007
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    R E T I R E D !!
    Virginia Beach, Va.
    I heard, some time ago, that there was, indeed, a "fake" dog tag program
    going on in Nam. Print your own, lay them in the rain and viola... rusty
    dog tags. I wish this guy luck. If he's got one with the name Charles
    Chessher on it, I'll buy it from him !


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