Marine says thieves took 7 Vietnam medals
03-14-2010 05:35 PM
SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A Sioux Falls man said thieves stole the medals he earned during the Vietnam War.
Thomas Graham, 60, said the theft occurred during an overnight burglary at his used-car business. Guns and several thousand dollars’ worth of tools also are missing, he said.
Graham served in the Marine Corps from 1969-73. He served two tours in Vietnam and kept his seven medals from the war in a foot locker at the shop, along with personal papers including letters from home. He lost a cassette tape his parents sent him his first Christmas away and a compass, Vietnamese money and other souvenirs. He thinks they would be worthless to anyone else and hopes whoever took them won’t dump them in a ditch.
“I want him to become human and put it somewhere it could be found,” Graham said.
Police have no suspects in the case, police spokesman Sam Clemens said. The crime is unusual in that someone wishing to return the personal items would risk arrest, while the victim has said the goods with no street value are most important.
“We’re not going to spend our time investigating if they’re not going to press charges. It’s kind of a Catch-22,” Clemens said.
The goods still could show up at a neutral site. “There’s probably some way to do it. It just takes a little creative thinking,” Clemens said.
Brian Wallin, team leader at the Sioux Falls Vets Center, said reminders of war hold great meaning to members of the military. “Not getting those letters back is akin to having your family’s photos burned in a fire,” he said.
Wallin said the vets center could help Graham secure replacement awards at no charge. Graham said he appreciated the thought, but “that’s not the same.”
[Clicking on more will open up a popup box with the complete news story from the news source. MilitaryWoman.org is not responsible for content.]