"For an historical deed is not finished when it has merely been achieved, but only when an account of it has been handed down to posperity."
Commander Thomas Hayes, 4 Aug 1942 (POW, Bilibid Japanese Camp, Philippine Islands)
One of the most profound events I have ever experienced occurred while going through the "Burial Case Files, 1915-1939," Office of the Quarter Master General (Record Group 92), during a recent trip to the National Archives Building, Washington, DC.
Many of these files had not been opened since the early 1920s and as I reviewed one of the files, I came upon a No. 10 manila envelope with the flap on the small end. When I opened the envelope, out fell a round metal dog tag with the individual's name and service number embossed on the surface. What makes this so profoundly moving? This particular dog tag was encrusted with mud. There were no mud streaks inside or outside of the envelope. The man had died in the trenches in France and in all likelihood, the mud which is encrusted on the dog tag is the very same mud where he fell and gave his life.
Holding that mud encrusted dog tag in the palm of my hand is something I will long remember. Just think of that little bit of history, a chunk of mud from 1918. It's not enough dirt to plant a tree, but it was enough dirt for a Milam County man to give his life!
We are trying to locate the families of the MIA/POW servicemen from the KOREAN WAR and VIETNAM WAR. We would like for them to place a DNA sample on file with the U.S. Army Total Personnel Command Center so that if the remains of their family members are ever returned to our country, they can be identified now or 300 years from today. The DNA sample MUST come from: a mother, sister, brother, sister's offspring, or an aunt (mother's sister only).
From World War I through the Vietnam War, more than 2,120** men and women from Milam County, Texas have served in the United States Military Forces. They were steadfast, dependable, and aggressive in the defense of their country.
** "Texas Wartime and Peacetime Veterans statistics by County and Gender for World War I, World War II, Korean Conflict, Vietnam Era and Persian Gulf," Austin, TX: Texas Veteran's Commission, July 1, 1997.
PRESERVE OR PERISH: The purpose and goal of this project is to preserve and make accessible to the public the military and family histories of each person who died while in the service of their country from Milam County, Texas. This history and knowledge must be preserved and made available to school students, scholars, historians, and genealogists who, from the vantage point of history, can help all of us remember the sacred sacrifice these noble individuals have made for our country. Once all of the material has been collect, it will be placed at the Rockdale Public Library, Rockdale, Texas.
Whether killed, died from wounds, or died from illness or accident, each person is a veteran. These soldiers, sailors and marines set the example of service and duty when their nation called.
Hopefully, no name has been omitted from this list of honor. Please recognize that as research continues, and with your help, names will be added. Please note, that if a name does not appear, it was not an intentional omission. If you believe a person should be added to the list, please contact us as soon as possible.
Originally Created: January 1998 - Moved 6 June 2004 and last revised on __________ 2004