Veteran reunited with dog tag 45 years later
Man gets back piece of history
By Jon Busdeker
January 12, 2013
More than 45 years ago, Jim Alderman left behind a dog tag in Vietnam.
That 1-by-2-inch tin tag stamped with Alderman's name, service number, service branch, religious affiliation and blood type made it back to the former U.S. Marine Saturday at a ceremony in east Orange County.
Standing in front of a group of fellow veterans at the Nam Knights motorcycle clubhouse in Bithlo, an emotional Alderman accepted the tag, taking back something he thought was lost to history.
"I'll remember this day till the day I die," said 64-year-old Alderman of Kissimmee, while his wife Pat and son Jon looked on.
In 1967, Alderman was 18 when he arrived in Vietnam as a member of the 3rd Reconnaissance Battalion Charlie Company. Five months into his tour of duty, enemy fire struck Alderman near his wrist and chest. While medics tended to his wounds, Alderman's boots — where he stored his dog tag — were removed and placed in a pile near a dozen dead soldiers.
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