Artist: Ira Madris
Writer: Gayle Gleckler
You may forget your Social Security number, but you never forget your Serial number.
You always remember your camouflages which you wore like your second safety skin.
What an interesting contradiction. A game of hide and seek.
Your camouflage conceals.
Your Dog Tags reveal.
If you are captured by your enemy, the only information is on your Dog Tags:
- Name-last, first, middle initial
- Military Serial number
- Social Security number
- Blood type
- Religious preference
Why would the USA Military call such an important identification Dog Tags?
It's because of the resemblance to animal registration tags. The tags are primarily used forthe identification of dead and wounded soldiers; to give personal and essential basic medical information. Around a soldier's neck is a chain with two copies; a single tag that can be broken in half, or two identical tags. This duplication allows one tag to be collected from a soldier's body for notification and identification to the family, and the second to remain with the soldier when battle conditions prevent it from being immediately recovered.
An anonymous expression of appreciation: A friend, an avid antique collector, once handed me an old ID tag and said, "Check this out."
I wasn't ready for the emotion and humility that overcame me as I held the tarnished Dog Tag from World War II in my hand. I realized it was much more than a piece of old stamped metal. It was someone's personal story of sacrifice and dedication for whom I owe my own personal freedom.