Owner of lost military dog tags found

Tags found by truck driver at Spartan Steel in Monroe few months ago

LINCOLN PARK, Mich. – It was an interesting discovery: Military dog tags found by a truck driver at Spartan Steel in Monroe a few months ago. Ever since, he and his girlfriend have been searching the name to no avail.

The couple knew that whoever those tags belonged to probably treasured them.

The man who found them figured he was a truck driver and judging by the date of birth probably served in Desert Storm. He was right on both counts.

"I was walking to close my trailer up and I saw them on the ground, so I picked them up," Gerald Alcorn said.

For months, Alcorn and his girlfriend, Jessica Smith, of Lincoln Park, have desperately tried to locate the name on the dog tags.

"A lot of people die, you know. These might be important to somebody," Alcorn said. "I have my father's dog tags and they mean the world to me."

The couple tried social media and the Internet, examining every detail, including the name, rank, date of birth and ID number, but had no luck.

"I Googled. I called the military," Alcorn said. "Nothing."

So the couple called Local 4 News. Picking up the search, Local 4 decided needing some experts.

Local 4 News found some uniting at the Wyandotte VFW Hall, including Bud Esau, who served in World War II and Korea.

"Lieutenant commander. That's Navy," Esau said. "Usually a veteran wants to keep those."

One more highly specific search pulled up a match of someone in Mississippi and as Local 4 News found out it was a highly-decorated retired lieutenant commander who served five tours in Iraq, three in Afghanistan and many more, who asked Local 4 not to use his name, but just his picture.

"To lose those tags, it hurts. That's something that's a part of you and all the guys that you lost, those are all memories," he said. "I'm all smiles right now because that's a part of me, and I'm just glad somebody cared enough to get them back to me."

The former sailor was hauling a load Monday night in Alabama, but he was thrilled to know his tags turned up in Michigan.

Local 4 News shared the good news with Atkins and Smith, and connected them with the lieutenant commander to make arrangements for pick up.

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