Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:24 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:24:25 GMT
The search is on for the woman who allegedly stole items from a little boy's gravesite in Richland County. According to Ontario Police, several people have contacted them concerning gravesite thefts atMore >>
The search is on for the woman who allegedly stole items from a little boy's gravesite in Richland County.More >>
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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
Wast will never forget his time in the jungles of Vietnam, but he's about to
let go of one item that reminds him of that time more than anything.
picked it up and tied it to my rucksack later and brought it home, and it has
been in my office desk for 45 years," said Wast.
talking about a helmet he found lying next to a dead north Vietnamese soldier
after the smoke cleared from a 3-day battle. It was August of 1968, and the
helmet was Wast's only souvenir from his year-long stay.
enemy soldier had scratched his name, Bui Duc Hung, and a palm tree onto the
helmet, and maybe more surprising, a dove, the sign of peace.
thought about maybe him, leaning against a tree in early night and scratching
that dove in really quick, and he did a great job," Wast said. "If we gave it
any though, they probably didn't want to be there any more than us. Their lives
were harder than ours."
45 years, Wast decided it was time to return the souvenir. He worked with the
Toledo-based Dove Fund, Vietnam veterans who raise money to build schools and clean
water systems in Vietnam, and found the fallen soldier's family near Hanoi.
your brother was killed in a car accident, you wouldn't want his shirt, but in
their culture, it works differently," he said. "It's a gruesome reminder to me,
but to the family, to have something that he owned, and particularly something
that he wrote his name in, and drew a dove, it's wonderful."
of the Dove Fund will take the helmet to the family in January. Wast is having
professional photographs taken of the helmet, as a reminder for him and his
wouldn't mind hearing from the family," he said. "I don't know what will
happen, but…whatever happens, I'm sure I will appreciate it."
helmet also has several bullet holes in it, a reminder of the brutality of war,
but Wast is hoping he's making a difference with his offering of peace.