Charlie Williams: Keeping vets alive |

Charlie Williams: Keeping vets alive

To the editor:

I recently read the article about Mr. Neu trying to return the medals of a fallen Marine to his family. While I found this story touching, I feel it portrayed a negative image of collectors of militaria.

I have collected militaria myself for about 10 years now. I have bought, sold and traded many items, including Purple Hearts, named and unnamed.

I have reunited a Purple Heart that was presented posthumously to the widow of a member of the First Cav. who was killed in action in Vietnam that was stolen from her.

But, the sad reality is that many times, not only with Purple Hearts, but medals, uniform, helmets, anything that the vet had, when he died, the family simply did not want them.

I know collectors who have dug items belonging to a deceased vet out of the trash. Granted, some collectors are bad, but I have met people from every group of people that are bad. Plus roughly half of the collectors I have met are vets.

Collectors help keep vets and their stories alive, as well as anything. Without collectors, many historically valuable items would have been lost forever, or in my case, the widow of a trooper who was killed would’ve lost his Heart that had been stolen from her forever.

Charlie Williams

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