The family of a deceased Vietnam veteran received a piece of their loved one’s time in the Marine Corps on Friday, according to FOX 13 Tampa Bay.
When operating near Da Nang Province in Vietnam in 1966, USMC Corporal Larry Hughes misplaced his dog tag. According to his son Carl, Hughes was a humble man who didn’t talk much about his duty
Former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and Notre Dame Professor Michael Desch discovered six dog tags while cultivating rice fields in October 2022. A villager contacted them while they were investigating near an airstrip used by the US military and said he had six dog tags found plowing rice fields over the years.
Desch stated that the villager had one of the tags on a keychain and requested if they may have it to carry back to the United States. The man complied, and the tag was returned to America.
Webb, a former Navy secretary, went to work locating the owner. Webb discovered Hughes’s son and sister in Levy County, Florida, after learning of his death.
“I was like, ‘we need to find this person.’ It’s so symbolic,” Webb told FOX 13.
Webb arranged for the dog tag to be delivered to Hughes’ family in Inglis, Florida, in collaboration with the Pentagon.
Patricia Hughes Prickett said she couldn’t believe it and receiving her brother’s ID was like “a step back in time.”
“I was always so proud of Larry,” she said. “There was never a moment when I was not proud of him, and I’m just glad that he’s been recognized.”
Hughes’ family believes that recovering the rare item five decades later from an enemy area is a “lesson” for us all.
“The two sides hated each other, and look how they come together now, how quickly you can build that friendship, that bond,” Carl said. “And that’s what the world needs, is everybody can get along and love each other.”
Hughes apparently never explained to his family why he didn’t talk much about his time in Vietnam, but his sister believes it was because he felt his duty was underappreciated at the time.
Prickett said it “means the world” that the Vietnam veterans are finally getting the recognition they did not get before.