Whose dog tags are these?
November 20, 2012
Woman wants to identify relative’s dog tags from
Dear Sgt. Shaft:
Can you please help me determine if the dog tags I have are my
grandfather's from World War II in the Navy, or my father's from Vietnam in the Army? Both men had the same name. The tags
are more rectangular and notched. My other grandfather who was in the
Navy in World War II has oval dog tags. This is how they are line by
245 88 83
Either way, I will cherish them, but I'd like to know. Thanks.
Via the Internet
My sources can't say for sure, but they tell me that it's more likely
that the notched tags are the World War II vintage, as they were issued
by the Army from World War II until 1970. The Navy did have oval tags
but adapted the same rectangular shape as the other services after
A surefire way to confirm is to run the serial number to ground. If
both service members are deceased and no records are available, you can
write to the National Personnel Records Center for a copy
of the service records of your kin. Instructions about how to do this
can be found here: http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/.
Like you, I am proud of their service.
* U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, chairman of the Senate Veterans' Affairs
Committee, announced that a bill to provide a Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) of 1.7
percent for America's veterans has passed the U.S. Senate by unanimous
consent. Ms. Murray fought hard for COLA passage, after an unnamed
Senate Republican blocked the traditionally non-controversial bill in
late September. The veterans COLA will affect several important
benefits, including veterans' disability compensation and dependency and
indemnity compensation for surviving spouses and children. It is
projected that more than 3.9 million veterans and survivors will receive
compensation benefits in Fiscal Year 2013.
"A cost-of-living increase for our veterans is well deserved," Ms.
Murray said. "Particularly in this difficult economy, our veterans
deserve a boost in their benefits to help make ends meet. I am so glad
we were finally able to move forward with passage of this bill. Caring
for our nation's veterans should never be a partisan issue."
The COLA is designed to offset inflation and other factors that lead
to the rising cost of living over time. The COLA rate will match the
annual increase provided to Social Security recipients and is based on
the Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index.
* More than 20 wounded warriors recently converged on CrossFit
Rubicon in Vienna, Va., for the first-ever Working Wounded Games. Hosted
in conjunction with CrossFit Walter Reed and volunteers from other metro
area CrossFit affiliates, the Working Wounded Games allowed veterans
with combat-related disabilities to compete in an open-style competition
that will benefit two new wounded warrior charities. The VFW was proud
to serve as an inaugural sponsor for the event, which coincided with the
237th birthday of the Marine Corps and Veterans Day.
"I know first-hand the physical challenges our heroes face when they
return home," said VFW National Commander John E. Hamilton, a triple
Purple Heart recipient from Vietnam. "The VFW is proud to support the
games and the wounded athletes competing this Saturday and the new
programs that will help wounded warriors discover new ways to stay fit,
while reclaiming their independence and a sense of accomplishment."
The Working Wounded Games kicked off at 8 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, and
was open to the public. There was no cost to attend, but $5 donations
were greatly appreciated. Proceeds from the event benefited Team Racing
4 Veterans and Boulder Crest Retreat for Wounded Veterans.
Team R4V is a nonprofit that seeks to support and empower veterans
throughout the rehabilitation process by offering personal training
assistance, financial assistance for gym memberships and competition
entrance fees. Boulder Crest Retreat is an expansive facility currently
under construction in Bluemont, Va., which plans to offer a first-class
rural sanctuary for veterans and their loved ones to enjoy free of
VFW Washington Office staff were on hand at CrossFit Rubicon to
answer questions about the advocacy and support services available to
veterans through the VFW.
Visit the VFW website to learn
more about how the VFW can help you navigate the VA claims process, sign
up to receive the Washington Weekly eNewsletter, and enter for a chance
to win a VFW "No One Does More For Veterans" T-shirt.
In 2010, several CrossFit coaches from the Washington Metro Area who
also served in the U.S. military came up with the unique idea to offer
free CrossFit workouts to wounded warriors recuperating at Walter Reed
Army Medical Center. Over the past two years, the program has developed
into an official CrossFit affiliate, CrossFit Walter Reed, with a
dedicated facility at the new National Military Medical
Center in Bethesda, Md.
Though dozens of wounded warriors have rediscovered their passion for
physical fitness and personal accomplishment through CrossFit Walter
Reed, many must find an affiliate back home once they transition off of
active duty. This is where Team R4V hopes to make a difference by
allowing wounded veterans to continue their training regimen at a local
CrossFit is a fitness philosophy designed to build strength,
endurance and mobility through a regimen of constantly varied,
functional movements performed at high intensity. CrossFit gyms usually
foster cohesion among members who perform the "Workout of the Day," or
WOD, together in an effort to push one another to reach fitness
The intensity of WODs and camaraderie among CrossFit athletes has
drawn many service members and veterans to CrossFit gyms from coast to
coast. Although WODs are intense, they are also infinitely scalable to
the skill level of individual participants, making CrossFit an ideal
fitness regimen for wounded warriors regardless of the injuries they
* Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, P.O. Box 65900,
Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330, call 202/257-5446 or