Monday, August 3, 2009

Updated Personal Effects List

Cleaning Dog Tags and Recent Returns

TOP recently returned from our last trip with more personal effects. We have an updated Dog Tag List for your perusal.

Many of these artifacts reflect the harsh environment they have been in these past decades.

TOP's policy is to endeavor to return the effects as they are found. However, this may not always be possible (see our example in this post).

When dog tags are unrecognizable, it is especially important to glean enough data in order to be able to identify the service member and have the information necessary for either surviving family or Vietnam veterans to verify and confirm a match.

The first step, when dealing with tags corroded by rust, dirt and other elements, may be to carefully hand clean the tag with gentle tools. If that does still does not yield data, then we use a sonic cleaner, similar to what professional jewelers use. In severe cases, tags are thoroughly sonically cleaned on both sides, as many times as necessary. The cleaning, yet preserving the integrity of the tag can be time consuming and challenging.

Many tags are so fragile that they are almost paper-thin and can break in two with the slightest pressure. These tags are identified with instructions on handling.

There are some cases where the information and data is unrecognizable, even after the careful & gentle cleaning processes. In these cases, the information on our database may rarely be questionable.

The results though of returning the dog tags are unquestionable! As evidenced by the responses of recipients, such as Vietnam veteran, Samuel Barton, who after receiving his lost dog tag wrote TOP, "Words cannot describe my appreciation of your efforts to bring closure to our Vietnam experience,THANK YOU,THANK YOU! Did I say THANK YOU for the return of my lost Tag?!”

Importantly, last month TOP returned the dog tag of KIA Vietnam soldier, Roger Buren Propst, to his namesake, Roger Buren Propst Jr., who said to us afterward, "I just wanted to say thank you for getting my Father's dog tag to me. I cannot tell you how incredible it was to receive that. It is so nice to have a piece of my Dad."

Likewise, in return, we are grateful for the sacrifices of our veterans and surviving family members: Thank you!

Now, we have updated our recent Personal Effects (Dog Tag) list to include our recent finds in Vietnam. Please take time to look it over and try to find the names of loved one's, friends, those you served with . . . perhaps our Vietnam veterans will find their own names at:

Good luck and thank you in advance for please helping us to return these lost treasures to those of whom they belong to.