Local News

Dog Tag, and Memories, Come Home to Vietnam Veteran

Posted January 26, 2007 8:50 p.m. EST
Updated January 26, 2007 11:11 p.m. EST

— A veteran from Henderson opened an envelope the other day and found something he hadn't seen in three and a half decades—his dog tag from Vietnam.

Andy Roberson had thought that thin piece of metal was gone forever, lost the day he was wounded 5 ½ months into his time in-country as an American soldier.

Then the envelope arrived, and memories poured out.

“I saw young men dying, and it just made life more precious,” Roberson recalled. He had been in Vietnam five months when the day came that he encountered a booby trap, an ambush and the shrapnel.

“It broke my right leg and my left arm,” Roberson recalled. The pain lingers today. The boy he was is gone.

He was very surprised when the dog tag came from a couple in New Hampshire who coined the name Cana Mission and who have made returning these items their mission.

“It’s just something you never expect, you know. I lost it the day I was wounded, and I just, you know, figured you'd never see it again,” Roberson said. “I'm just so thankful to receive it.”

The letter Roberson got with the tag explained that Vietnamese dig up U.S. dog tags and sell them for souvenirs. The New Hampshire residents want those mementos back with the people who used to wear them.

“It’s not that the dog tag itself means so much, it's what it symbolizes, what it stands for, you know, and to know people still care,” Roberson said. “It means a lot.”