Veteran Reunited With Symbol of Service

Veteran Reunited With Symbol of Service

A Pekin veteran is sharing a story of unexpected kindness.
PEKIN – A Tazewell County veteran is sharing a story of unexpected kindness.

Michael Wertz served in the U.S. Navy and a few years ago, he lost a very important possession.

You don’t have to be a veteran to know that a dog tag is kept close to the heart. Wertz said, “This is an original dog tag from 1965."

67-year-old Michael Wertz served in Vietnam. His dog tags have been with him for the past 50 years – well, almost. “All I know is I was working out at the gym in Pekin and of course you know, you go home, take your clothes off and I was missing them.”

They disappeared three years ago. Wertz said he thought they were gone forever and he had finally let it go. “Well you know how after three years, somebody should have reported it and everything."

Pekin Police Detective Mike Eeten said, “It's not something that happens every day and he certainly thought he'd probably never see them again."

Last week, Wertz received a call from Pekin police. Pekin resident Jim Newcomb found his silver dog tags, shining on a construction site. Eeten said, “"He happened to find his dog tags that were buried in the dirt and he pulled them up, took great care of them, took them home, washed them so he could see what was on them."

Thanks to the kindness of Newcomb, the tags are now back at home. Wertz said he’s holding on tight. “I made a couple of copies of it so I'll put this one in a safety deposit box.”
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