Mother of Illinois senator returns Augusta veteran's lost dog tags, thanks him for service

A very special and unexpected honor for a local Vietnam veteran today.

Lamar Jackson was one of many who felt that no one cared about him and his comrades who served in Vietnam.

But Friday in Augusta, he found out that some people are willing to do a lot to say thank you.

"It was a very moving ceremony,” says attendee Quin Herlik, retired U.S. Army colonel. “All I can say is God bless him and the other Vietnam vets."

It's been nearly forty years since Augustan Lamar Jackson was SPC4 Lamar Jackson of the First Cavalry Division of the US Army.

Sometime during his tour of duty in Vietnam, he was separated from his dog tags.

Today, thanks to the mother of a US senator, he has that piece of his past back with him.

“I didn't expect to receive them at all,” Jackson says. “It's been so long and I had forgotten about them.”

Martha Roskam found the dog tags, along with those of more than 20 other soldiers, while she was shopping for old coins in a Saigon marketplace.

With the help of her son, Illinois senator Peter Roskam, she and her husband are crisscrossing the country, finding the veterans, returning the tags...and saying "thank you".

"It's a privilege for us, it really is,” Mrs. Roskam says. “We just feel called to this, and this is our 20th return."

For Lamar Jackson, the ceremony meant a lot.

And he wants us all to remember those soldiers who were not as fortunate.

"It brought back some memories. I'm fortunate. I've got a loving family and good support. There're a lot of guys right now that don't have anything," Jackson says.

If the Roskams have their way, every veteran they can find will get his dog tags back, and hear again that our country is grateful.

Mr. Jackson says the ceremony was more than he was expecting. He thought he would just be handed the dog tags without any fanfare.

Mrs. Roskam and her husband are headed to Florida next, as their patriotic mission continues.

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1212 Augusta, GA 30903 Main Telephone: (803) 278-1212 Newsroom: (803) 278-3111 Fax: (803) 442-4561
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