Veteran returns lost dog tags to local family of fallen Marine

The dog tags of a Marine who was killed in action are finally where they belong.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Texas- The dog tags of a marine killed in action in Vietnam are finally where they belong.

The tags belonged to David Freed who died nearly 50 years ago. A veteran who found them managed to track his family down in Magnolia.

"It's something you can't explain because like I said I didn't get to know my brother so this is a part of him," said Brian Freed, David's brother.

Brian, who was just ten when his brother David was killed in September 1968, was on hand Tuesday night to take back his brother's tags from Eddie Neas.

Neas is a fellow Marine who's originally from Brooklyn.

"I went to all this trouble because this is what we do," Neas said. "It's not my dog tag. It's the dog tag of a marine and it doesn't belong in Vietnam. It belongs in the hands of the family."

Neas was in Vietnam last year on an education trip with the College of the Ozarks. He was one of 11 veterans paired up with students.

While visiting some of the sites where he saw combat, he noticed a Vietnamese peddler selling artifacts.

"What caught my eye was one dog tag and I looked at the dog tag and it says DB Freed and three lines down I see USMC," Neas said.

He did his research and began his quest to find Freed's family.

Calls to Freed's brother in Magnolia went unanswered. Neas tried to Facebook other family members but that didn't work. Eventually he reached the Magnolia Police Department, which led to their chief going out to Brian's Magnolia home.

Neas insisted he come down from New Jersey in person to deliver the dog tags.

"It was a fluke and it was something you, he didn't even expect," Freed said.

Neas even took the dog tag to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC. Just last week, he also visited Freed's grave site in Long Island which is 60 miles from his New Jersey home.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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