FREMONT – Unfortunately, some of the cherished dog tags earned while in the armed services are lost and never to be found again as time goes on. But now, there’s a chance to get them back.
The first Dog Tag Day was held at the Dodge County Courthouse on Friday morning with a bustling office full of veterans. Dodge County Veterans Service officer Mark Schneck decided it would be a good idea to get those veterans who are missing their tags a chance to replace or accompany their existing ones with new ones.
“They disappear over the years as veterans age and they may have misplaced them, so the vet’s center is offering these right now. They will come up and bring a machine to make the dog tags for us. There’s no official paperwork really required, it’s just a fun event.”
The duplicate tags today don’t feature as much information as the older ones, with name, rank, and blood type displayed. A heavy duty printer from the Omaha Vet Center will print them on aluminum and then distribute them to veterans within a couple of weeks.
A chance to get their tags back seems to excite the veterans as many start to talk about their memories in the service and share a story or two according to Schneck.
“Most of the memories are very well remembered and very enjoyable, it may not have been that way as a soldier, sailor, or airman as they were going through it. But as years go by, the experience improves in your mind and as you can see, these guys really enjoy it.”
One of Schneck’s jobs in Dodge County is to help veterans get the care and services they need, even if they’ve gone many years without it. He says for veterans, it’s never too late to get the services earned.
“So many 70, 80, and 90 year-old veterans that are now coming in here for the first time, they’ve never known about it or they felt they did not deserve it…totally wrong. They do deserve services and we’re happy to see them.”
“I’m doing a claim right now with one 97-year old veteran in a nursing home, it’s his first claim, so it’s doable.”
After a successful first year for the event, Schneck is confident more events will take place in the year’s to come.
If veterans are interested in replacing their dog tags or other services, Schneck can be reached at 402-727-2719, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or in person in Room 203 at the Dodge County Courthouse at 435 N. Park in Fremont.