Tulsa Vietnam vet reunited with his lost dog tags

Monday, November 1st 2004, 10:32 am
By: News On 6

Imagine the many things left behind by American soldiers in Viet Nam. Rarely has anyone gotten anything back. But the News on 6's Rick Wells has a story of something lost and found almost 36 years to the day.

Ken Loney was a 19 year old Marine in the 3rd Marine Division operating in northern South Vietnam, in Hua City, it was October of 1968. "I stepped on a bamboo stake. They had to cut my boot off and that's when I lost my tag."

He recovered and continued his Vietnam tour. "I did two back to back tours from August 68 to April of '70."

He came home, raised a family and spent 28 years lugging the mail for the Postal Service then a week ago he got a call on the phone. "Hi my name is Stacey and I'm not ever sure I have the right number."

Stacey Hansen had been to Vietnam and in a souvenir shop in Hua City she found something Ken Loney had lost, his dog tag. Among hundreds she purchased in souvenir shops all over the country there was his. "I just wanted to give it back to you."

And almost 36 years exactly after the day he lost it, his dog tag arrived in the mail and with the memories of that day racing in his head he unwrapped her gift.

It is rusted and dirty, but a cherished memory. "She's spending her own money and calling up the veterans to see if they want their dog tags back." And along with the dog tag, a belated thank you note. “God bless you and your service and may he bring you peace."

Ken Loney: "This is neat, 36 years is a long time." Stacey Hansen has established a web site, www.vietnamdogtags.com, listing all the dog tags she has recovered in her two trips to Viet Nam. A detailed story of why she was there and how she found all these dog tags in contained there along with all the dog tag she found.