- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

I currently have three dog tags that I would be willing to ship to the respective families if I could ever find them. They were stored with the WWII medals of my great uncle who passed, and I would venture to say that they must have been friends at some time. I provide the info from the dog tags as it may help you identify how to track the family members:

CALVIN
MANSFIELD
WOLF
245-94-71
T.9/22/43
USNR-O

FRANCIS
CECIL
ALLEN
832-18-30
T.2/25/43
USNR-O


PATTERSON
JAMES
WESLEY
965 87 39
T 11/43
USNR-O P

Lt. Col S.G.
Canadian Army

Dear Col S.:

Hopefully by highlighting the names and information on these veterans, it may catch the eye of someone who knows the original owners of these valued mementos.

In addition an online search revealed that others who had found dog tags had good luck by going through the Military Personnel Records Center at the National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/st-louis/military-personnel/.

Another source of help could be the Department of Defense’s POW & Missing Personnel Office here: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/.

Shaft notes

• The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs recently questioned officials from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on vital programs, including the perennially growing disability claims backlog, mental health care, and oversight and stewardship of VA funding over the past two years.

Questions remain regarding VA’s announcement earlier this year regarding the hiring of 1,600 additional mental health care professionals, following the release of VA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) report that indicated VA was not treating veterans in a timely manner.

Yet, at the time, VA had a shortage of 1,500 mental health care providers nationwide. VA Secretary Shinseki testified to the Committee in May that the department’s goal was to hire 1,600 by the end of this year. VA Deputy Secretary Gould reiterated that goal in testimony to the committee.

However, according to President Obama’s Aug. 31, 2012, Executive Order, that timeline appears to be in direct conflict with congressional testimony: “directs VA to use its pay-setting authorities, loan repayment and scholarships, partnerships with health care workforce training programs, and collaborative arrangements with community-based providers to recruit, hire, and place 1,600 mental health professionals by June, 2013 [emphasis added].”

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