Chandler, AZ. – On October 15th, 2012, USMC Vietnam Veteran, William Queale and the son of deceased Vietnam veteran, Russell Farver, were presented with a piece of the past – from nearly a half a century ago.
Back in 1993, a Vietnam USMC veteran and retired police chief, was in Vietnam with a group called Operation Smile. He was there as logistics support coordinator for the project’s medical program. In the streets outside his hotel, he met villagers who had what appeared to be old, rusty American dog tags. He bought over 400 of them back home and later gave them to the POW/MIA Awareness Committee of New Jersey to locate and return the dog tags to the veterans.
Two of those dog tags, belonging to Queale and Farver, are now back home.
“What we have done with this project since receiving the dog tags, is to ensure that each dog tag, when welcomed, is hand delivered to the veteran – by a fellow veteran – brother to brother, ” Sue Quinn-Morris, Director of Research for the POW/MIA Awareness Commitee of NJ, stated.
After locating Queale and Farvers family in Arizona – ironically only a few miles apart – the dog tags were given to Nam Knights of America MC Parent Chapter member, Eli Krakower. Krakower resides in NJ and AZ during the fall/winter months.
The Nam Knights of America MC,, which is a Military and Veteran Motorcycle Club, came onboard with the project at its onset and continue to handle dog tag returns. To date their chapters have handled returns in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, North Carolina, Washington DC, Florida, Illinois, Tennesse, Michigan and now Arizona.
Krakower, along with Tom Fager and John Gallagher – also Nam Knights of America MC Parent Chapter members, set up the dog tag returns to take place at the American Legion Post 91 in Chandler, AZ. J.D. Geiser, the Commander of the American Legion Post 91 and many of the Posts members were present and were ever so hospitable.
There, Krakower explained the Dog Tag Project and presented an elated and emotional “Wild” Bill Queale with his dog tag. Farvers brother and granddaughter stood by as Krakower presented Farvers son, Russell, with his fathers dog tag – one of the few things that he has of his fathers.