During a College of the Ozarks travel program in 2016, Sgt. Major Eddie Neas returned to Vietnam. While touring with students, Nease said he was approached by a peddler selling trinkets.
"What caught my eye was a dog tag with initials "DB" free service number 235524. I knew right then and there was a dog tag of a U.S. Marine and I was not going to leave without it," Neas said.
He purchased the dog tag for $568,000 Vietnamese Dong ($25 USD) and found out it belonged to Lance Cpl. David Freed.
Freed was killed in action on Sept. 19, 1968.
Neas said he worked with military organizations and found an email address belonging to Freed's brother, Brian.
Eventually, Neas was able to track down Freed's family in Magnolia.
On Tuesday, Neas made a special trip to Magnolia and presented the dog tag to Freed's family, close to 49 years after it was lost.
"Something you can't explain," Brian added. "Like I said, I didn't get to know my brother, so this is a part of him."
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