To the editor:
A week or so ago I received an email signed by a woman I didn't know. Of course, I automatically delete most of those. This one promised only to return a dog tag that I may have lost in Vietnam. My first thought was what kind of scam is this. I was deciding whether or not to respond when she, Ashley, called me.
All she asked for was my middle initial. When I said "L" she said that matched her information and she would give my name to Bryan in California who would call soon for further verification. Marks called me the next day and read the information from my dog tag verbatim. The story that Mark gave me was that he had taken a vacation to Vietnam in 2004. While there he found people were selling dog tags of U.S. soldiers. He brought back a shoebox full of them.
I was still skeptical, but I had his full name now and did a quick Internet search for Bryan Marks. He was everything he said he was - a fire captain in Santa Cruz, Calif. I discovered several articles from the Los Angeles Times, one about returning his 500th tag to a Vietnam veteran. A few days ago I received my tag that looked all of its 46 years of age.
Really the dog tag wasn't that important to me but the fact that someone would spend that much time and effort to unite veterans with their past is especially gratifying to me. Thanks to Staff Sgt. Ashley Wagner, U.S. Air Force, Fla., and Bryan Marks, Calif.