13 November, 2011

Let's talk about dog tags...

So I know we've all seen it. The dog tags worn as jewelry or used as a prop in photos.

Let's discuss this phenomenon and talk about why we should probably find a new necklace and prop...

The idea of dog tags started with the Civil War. Those fighting wanted to ensure a way to identify themselves should they die in battle. They didn't have the metal tags like today, but used pieces of paper, sewn to the inside of their uniforms, to serve the same purpose.

Over time, the tags evolved into the metal ones that you see today. The ones with name, social security number, blood type, and religion.

"Thee sole purpose of the identification tag is stated by its designation. Tags found around the neck of a casualty, and only those tags found around the neck, stay with the remains at all times tags found any place besides around the neck are made note of in the Record of Personal Effects of Deceased Personnel, and placed in an effects bag.  They are not removed unless there is a need to temporarily inter the remains. If there is only one tag present, another is made to match the first. If the remains are unidentified, two tags marked "unidentified" are made. One tag is interred with the individual, the other placed on a wire ring in the sequence of the temporary cemetery plot. This enables Graves Registration personnel to make positive identification of remains during disinterment procedures; when the remains are disinterred, the tag on the wire ring is removed and placed with the matching tag around the neck."*


People... the dog tags are used to identify military members when they die. They are not meant to be another part of motivational clothing or something you hold longingly in a picture. Their purpose is morbid, at best. The exchanges are FULL of shirts and other things that you can wear to show your support or position as a spouse. 

I know I was guilty of wanting to wear my husband's when I first became a Marine wife, but I'm glad someone pointed out why this was kind of tacky and really morbid. 

So please reconsider wearing them. They are your service member's identification tags, not jewelry. 

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