Friday, July 22, 2011

Dog Tags.

Tom's Journal.

I still wear a silver 'rope' around my neck with one 'dog tag' on it, my house key, dog whistle and a small medicine storage carrier.  A few times when I got into a traffic accident they came in handy for the medics to ID me.  I wear the 'dog tag' for personal reasons, with the term, "Christian" on it, etc.  

From what I hear, the REAL powers in the world that control everything have already decided how our USA national debt fiasco will shake out, and the baloney that we see in D.C. and on the "News" is just some smoke and mirrors eye wash to get everyone excited.  I think that everything will continue as before-- more compounding debt and higher $$$ ceiling/ interest, and we will have to 'pay the piper' some day.  I think that after the Rapture things will fall apart and go South in a hurry, but after that WHO CARES??! The Saints and Believers will have been taken up to heaven with the Lord, and the goofy unbelievers will be left behind to suffer the consequences of their procrastination and selfishness/ willful ignorance/ sin.  

For the record, Saints DO SIN, but they are forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ, and they try hard to sin less with the help of the Holy Spirit, and pure knowledge of the Bible.  For these reasons, I don't put a lot of stress and meaning on material things because I know that God just doesn't care about such mundane things-- but on the content of our hearts, minds and character.  I can't ever point my finger at others because it took me, personally, a long time get humble enough to allow the Spirit to work on me and mature me as a Christian brother/ servant of Christ.  I feel that my finest and most important work now is to share the Gospel with others and help others see the road to salvation in Christ-- letting the Holy Spirit use me to reach other individuals before the end comes-- the proverbial 'Ark' shuts close.

Tom Schuckman

The Civil War provided the first recorded incident of American soldiers making an effort to ensure that their identities would be known should they die on the battlefield. Their methods were varied, and all were taken on a soldier's own initiative. In 1863, prior to the battle of Mine's Run in northern Virginia, General Meade's troops wrote their names and unit designations on paper tags and pinned them to their clothing. Many soldiers took great care to mark all their personal belongings. Some troops fashioned their own "ID" (identification) tags out of pieces of wood, boring a hole in one end so that they could be worn on a string around the neck.
The commercial sector saw the demand for an identification method and provided products. Harper's Weekly Magazine advertised "Soldier's Pins" which could be mail ordered. Made of silver or gold, these pins were inscribed with an individual's name and unit designation. Private vendors who followed troops also offered ornate identification disks for sale just prior to battles. Still, despite the fact that fear of being listed among the unknowns was a real concern among the rank and file, no reference to an official issue of identification tags by the Federal Government exists. (42% of the Civil War dead remain unidentified.) tag civil war.gif
The first official advocacy of issuing identification tags took place in 1899. Chaplain Charles C. Pierce, who was tasked to establish the Quartermaster Office of Identification in the Philippines, recommended inclusion of an "identity disc" in the combat field kit as the answer to the need for standard identification. The Army Regulations of 1913 made identification tags mandatory, and by 1917, all combat soldiers wore aluminum discs on chains around their necks. 
By World War II, the circular disc was replaced by the oblong shape familiar to us today, generally referred to as "dog tags."
Since then, some myths have arisen in connection with the purpose of the identification tags. One of the more common myths involves the reason for the notch on the tag issued between 1941 and the early 1970's. Battlefield rumor held that the notched end of the tag was placed between the front teeth of battlefield casualties to hold the jaws in place. 
No official record of American soldiers being issued these instructions exists; the only purpose of "the notch" was to hold the blank tag in place on the embossing machine. The machine used at this time doesn't require a notch to hold he blank in place, hence, today's tags are smooth on all sides.
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.
The Department of the Army has developed and is currently testing a new tag, which will hold 80% of a soldier's medical and dental data on a microchip. Known as the Individually Carried Record, it is not intended to replace the present tag, but rather to augment it as part of the "paperless battlefield" concept. 
This development is in keeping with the Army's dedication to positively identify each and every fallen soldier. The yellow TacMedCS being tested by the Marines uses radio frequency technology, electronics and global-positioning systems to pin-point wounded.
The Armed Forces make every possible effort to eradicate discrepancies and remove doubts about casualties, not least those doubts that families may hold concerning the demise of their loved ones. In recent years, a near perfect record of identifying service members who have died in the line of duty has been achieved, a far cry from the 58% rate of identification that stood during the Civil War. The ID tag has, been and remains a major part of the reason for this record. Are you wearing your ID tags today? Too many military personnel, particularly those who are part of the peacetime force stationed in CONUS (Continental United States), forget how vital those tags can be, forget that as soldiers they are always on the line. Wearing your ID tags is one of the easiest actions you can make towards achieving total readiness, so take those tags out of your dresser and put them around your neck. Remember -the simple information contained on that small aluminum tag can speak for you if you can't speak for yourself; it could mean the difference between a positive identification and an uncertain future for those who survive you, should your identity be "...known only to God."
We've come a long way from tying pieces of wood around our necks.
This article was written CPT Richard W. Wooley was Chief of Individual Training. Graves Registration Department (now the Mortuary Affairs Center), U.S. Army Quartermaster School, Fort Lee, Virginia.


Common Sense ways to keep Cool.

Tom's Journal.

Friends,  This is just a short note on how to keep COOL in big 'heat waves' like we are now experiencing.  The very first thing they taught us in Army basic training, 21 Aug. 67, at Fort Campbell, KY., was how to stay cool in hot weather and how to treat a fellow soldier for heat exhaustion/ and heat stroke/ shock [pull the soldier to a shaded area, loosen his belt and elevate his feet a bit, and give him a 'LITTLE' water from your canteen-- and sprinkle some water on his face, neck and chest].  And it gets mighty warm in KY come Summertime-- Hooray- Dixie!  Go figure:  If other folks in Africa and Asia can keep cool and survive-- so can we!   And then, too many older folks are just too tight and stubborn to turn on an existing A/C unit to stay cool, and use a fan or two-- and so they die in a cooped up apartment or house.... or old age home.  

I have even worked as a welder where my company in Waukesha, WI,. flew me down to Phoenix, AZ in July/ August when the DAILY air temps were 118 every single day in 1991 [?].  And because the local people loved to plant more trees, bushes and greenery-- they then had humidity instead of the famed, bragged about  "dry heat."  How is it that the Army TRAINS it's soldiers to keep from dropping dead from the heat-- but goofy civilians just can't seem to learn the basics??

Well, folks,  here is something you can use to learn how to keep cool in the hot, muggy weather.  Please share this LINK with your friends.  Here is a fine picture of me [Tommy] teaching my dear wife, Sharon, to weld and cut steel.  She also was a good student and I miss her so much...  She passed away April 9th -- this year...

Tom Schuckman