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Veterens Day


Every year around this time i remember this story about my old high school friend.

It has been nearly 35 years since Ethel Palmquist's only son died in the Vietnam War. Friday, a part of him came…Home At Last
By Lisa Aleman-Padilla
Saturday, March 29, 2003
Fresno, California

Tears fell Friday as 81-year-old Ethel Palmquist received a military dog tag once worn by her only son, Steven, who was killed in Vietnam nearly 35 years ago.

"It doesn't bring my son back," she said, crying as news cameras clicked outside her North Fork home. "No, it doesn't," said V.R. Roskam, after he placed the tag into Palmquist's hand.

Roskam, a sales executive for Oil-Dri, a cat litter manufacturer, delivered the tag while in California on business.

He spoke softly, as if to comfort Mrs. Palmquist.

"When you drop into somebody's home and you have a reception like you had here today, it's a marvelous feeling," Roskam said.

For several years, Roskam has been returning dog tags that he and his wife, Martha, bought from a street vendor in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

"I'm 73 years old and still working full-time and traveling the United States and part of the world," he said. "I've had a unique opportunity."

Roskam said his wife could not bear the thought of someone buying the tags simply as a souvenir. She understood the meaning the tags would have to a veteran or their families back in the United States.

After the couple returned home, they gave the tags to their son, Peter, an Illinois state senator who used his connections to check the tags' printed information against a national archive of military personnel.

To date, the Roskams have returned seven tags, including the one presented Friday to Palmquist. The Roskams hope to return another 25, including one more in the Valley.

For Alice Weber, Steven Palmquist's sister, news of the tag's return reawakened a sense of loss.

"I was a little shocked. Like it was happening all over again," she said. "You don't think about it a lot, but even though it's been almost 35 years ago, it's never gone."

On Oct. 2, 1968, Marine Lance Cpl. Steven Palmquist of Kerman was patrolling the Quang Nam Province, nearly 10 miles south of DaNang in Vietnam. He was killed about 4:15 p.m. while his platoon took heavy enemy fire. He was 19.

Standing near a refrigerator that displays photos representing five generations, Ethel Palmquist said, after years of wondering about the tag's whereabouts, she couldn't believe it was finally home.

It just blows you away."

The reporter can be reached at or 675-6805.

Here's a link to the tags that have been returned:

Another one of my favorite stories that starts in Massachusetts and finishes 63 years later in California

I have a co-worker that's a big history buff. Especially military history. Mike has more history books than most libraries. One day he was talking to another co-worker, Reggie. I'm not sure how the subject came up but Reggie said his dad was killed around Christmas at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge. He wasn't sure but he thought his dad was with the 101st Airborne. All his life he never knew much about his dad. All his mother had ever told him was his dad was killed at Bastogne. Mike asked him if he would like to learn something about what his dad and fellow soldiers had gone through, he had a few books on the Battle of the Bulge. Reggie acceppted Mike's offer.

Mike thought "THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASTOGNE" by George Koskimaki would be a good one because most of it is based on interviews with veterns of Bastogne. Mike was thumbing through the book and ran across a section titled "RETRIEVING FALLEN COMRADES". The first story was about Reggie's dad. Mike wasn't sure if he should take Reggie that book, or grab a differenf one. He decided to let Reggie make that decision.

Reggie read the story. He told Mike "Thank you. That's the most i've know about my dad my entire life."

I just thought it was amazing that 63 years later a son finally learned something about the father that he had never known.
Thanks to all the veterans that served to protect our freedom.
Thank You
James Kelly/putz

Take a minute today to thank those who are serving, who have served and to honor those who paid the ultimate price to insure your freedom.
Great story Larry, and thanks to all the vets that defended our nation. :rofl:
In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot. Mark Twain

As one veteren to all the other veterens I thank all of you.

One thing we need to thing about is all the veterens yet to be.

They are the ones that need our prayers.


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