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'Dog Tag' Order For 35,283 in Schools Placed.

     A total of 35,283 students in Dallas public schools have ordered "dog tags," records at the School Administration Building show.
     Sixty-one of the 133 schools in the Dallas Independent School District have not reported.  Students, with the approval of their parents, may voluntarily apply for the tags through their schools.  The tags cost 20c.
     Of the total number ordered, 18,071 have been paid for and the remainder are on application.
     The tags carry the student's name, address, telephone number and the name of a person to notify in case of emergency.
     The school administration negotiated with the Addressograph Multigraph Corp. of Dallas to make the tags after it had been cleared earlier this year by the Dallas Board of Education.

'Dog Tag' Order For 35,283 in Schools Placed.
The Dallas Morning News
Part 3, Page 19
March 08, 1956

America is a faith-based nation

In response to the May 3 editorial, "Liberty wins": The Daily Press claims Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore gets it wrong on his support for a non-sectarian grace before supper at Virginia Military Institute. The vast majority of Americans consider themselves Christians, to include the military. Religion plays such an important role in a soldier's life it is placed on our dog tags with our blood type. In 1956 when I joined the Army I was issued a New Testament, and at least once a month chaplains guided our charter. At all our ceremonies we had invocation (prayer). I spent 20 years in the U.S. Army, including three tours in Vietnam and three years in the Middle East after retirement. George Washington had mandatory prayer and ordered his officers and non-commissioned officers to lead it.

If anybody is trying to shove any dogma down anybody's throat, it's the newspaper. America has always been a faith-based nation -- that's why our president swears his oath by placing his left hand on a Bible and our Congress opens with a prayer.

Rodney R. Doan

Port Haywood

Paper: Daily Press (Newport News, VA)
Date: June 4, 2004
Section: Editorial
Page: A14


A small, battered piece of tarnished metal speaks volumes, filling in for what Jerry Cohen still hesitates to talk about. It's now in a safe deposit box, sealed as tightly as his memories of war had been.

After getting a tiny manila envelope from a New Hampshire couple last month, the war is seeping out again.

"Welcome home," Bob and Ann McMahon said in a short note that accompanied one of two Army dog tags Cohen lost after an attack at Chu Lai, Vietnam, 34 years ago. The other tag has never been found.

The McMahons say their return of more than 1,000 tags to Vietnam veterans or their families isn't closure, but a chance to open the process of healing war's emotional wounds.

In trips to Vietnam by the couple and many others, 5,400 dog tags have been retrieved.

"Oh my God, it's unreal to have my tag back," said Cohen, 64, who lives in the Southwind area of southeast Shelby County.

It was in 1970 that Cohen was stationed in a guard tower overlooking the perimeter of the Army's Chu Lai base when an explosion toppled the tower, injuring him severely.

He was flown to a hospital in Japan.

As he recuperated, he noticed the two dog tags no longer hung from his neck.

" 'Well, if they're gone, they're gone, I'll never see them again,' " Cohen remembers thinking.

"And now, all of a sudden, (it's) here."

Retrieving dog tags has been the McMahons' mission for the past three years, when they learned that the tags were being sold in the streets of Vietnam as souvenirs.

Many of the tags have Social Security numbers, which, with Internet databases, the McMahons use to help find the owners.

It took two years to find Cohen.

"It's a blessing to be able to do it," said Bob McMahon of Hancock, N.H.

Many of the tags were lost when soldiers were injured, McMahon said. Once they're found and the owners located, the couple like to find a local Vietnam veteran to present them to the owners.

"We get all kinds of reactions, some weep, others are skeptical that they're real, most are really, really happy," McMahon said.

Since Cohen left military service, he married, had two sons, divorced and moved to Memphis from Hamilton, Ohio.

He lives in a Southwind apartment and runs a locksmith business.

In the 34 years since that day at Chu Lai, he's tried to keep Vietnam in his past.

But the little manila envelope changed all that.

Along with reading his name, Social Security number, blood type and religion on the pockmarked tag, images of the war returned to Cohen's mind.

"It opened up memories of what happened when you saw things you really didn't want to see."

Despite that, Cohen smiles broadly, squints into the sun and shakes his head as he reacted to the piece of mail he received.

"It's unbelievable to have it back. I'll keep it forever."


Thousands of dog tags belonging to soldiers who fought in Vietnam have been retrieved by groups and individuals. Two Web sites - and - list names of the tags' owners.

- Laura Coleman Noeth: 529-5853

Paper: Commercial Appeal, The (Memphis, TN)
Date: June 4, 2004
Section: News
Page: A1

This is no time to relax, get overconfident

Now that I have had time to digest the effect of the Republican National Convention in New York, it seems appropriate to ask how George W. Bush has managed to jump so far ahead so fast. Some think he has the election in the bag. What happened?

I found clarity in a bag of another sort: the convention goodie bags that are distributed to delegates and convention guests. They are usually stuffed with a collection of unremarkable items. Mine contained its fair share, and most were ditched upon arrival. But the real keeper in the bunch was a stainless steel replica of GI dog tags that got me admission to the Sea-Air-Space Museum for the GOP's Operation Victory party after the president's acceptance speech. The museum is housed on board the USS Intrepid, a finely maintained World War II Essex class aircraft carrier.

For a history junkie like me, the night was filled with awe. Not so much for the party glitterati on board, but for the machines on display and the gratitude they evoke to those who flew them.

The hangar deck houses three of the legendary aircraft that originally flew from the Intrepid during the war -- a TBM Avenger torpedo bomber, an F6F Hellcat fighter, and a SB2C Helldiver dive bomber. The flight deck shows off today's aerial arsenal including the F-14 Tomcat and the F-16 Fighting Falcon.

The museum motto is: "The Intrepid. Honor. Educate. Inspire."

Republicans and aircraft carriers have become a tawdry tale for some in the Kerry camp, though. Instead of recognizing the President for his leadership in troubled times -- as Sen. Zell Miller did in his keynote address -- they have ridiculed him for landing on one and speaking in front of a banner that read "Mission Accomplished."

The truth is President Bush has risen to his moment of destiny just like those fliers on the USS Intrepid. And it was our job to show the nation how. So last week, we Republicans did what we do best. We honored the honorable. We educated those with an open mind. We inspired.

Mission accomplished.

Now I suspect some Democrats will have a similar reaction to this political declaration as they had to the president's military one: "Hold on now, it is way too early to claim victory. Besides, Election Day is still to come." And they just might be right, despite the president's commanding bounce coming out of the convention.

Dismal digits and demography greeted Democrats this week. First Time, then Newsweek magazines published post-convention likely voter polls giving President Bush double-digit leads. On average, the data suggested one of the biggest bounces on record.

Bush bounce

Pundits like to say in a close race, events can tip the scales. If that's so, then the convention -- a pretty good event in itself -- might prove the thesis. But the Bush bounce is much more than that. Two other recent events have added to it.

Late Friday, a spate of good economic news was released. I suspect most Americans were feeling the reality already: Jobs are up; unemployment is down; inflation remains under control.

And despite the terror and turmoil of the insurgents, we also learned last week that about 10 million Iraqis have registered to vote in the elections scheduled for January, 2005. So much for the hand-wringers who contend representative democracy is beyond the reach of the region. Liberty knows no limits; nor does intrepid presidential leadership.

So I will grant the big bounce for a number of reasons. But I am far from making my reservations for the next Bush inauguration. There are too many wild cards yet to be played.

The Kerry campaign is now taking election lessons from Bill Clinton. Good Republicans should hold their breath and work that much harder. Despite Clinton's personal flaws, he won two elections against steep odds. Any bets on how soon the media start calling Kerry the "Comeback Kid II?"

Complacency kills campaigns. Just ask me. I lost a close race for Congress by about 2,000 votes -- in part -- because late polls had me in the lead. I coasted and it cost me. Too many Republicans left New York too jazzed by the bounce to be scared enough to gut-fight this election to victory.

One more aircraft carrier analogy, if you please. Tom Taylor is a good friend and commanded a jet fighter squadron at Lemoore Naval Air Station. He logged about 750 carrier landings -- and lived. He will tell you it took tenacity, teamwork and a full throttle to get his F/A-18 Hornet home.

Enough said?

Jim Patterson's e-mail address is

Paper: Fresno Bee, The (CA)
Title: This is no time to relax, get overconfident
Date: September 8, 2004
Page: B9



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