By Janie Nafsinger
TUALATIN â€” Tualatin Post 3452 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars has started another fund-raiser for troops serving in Iraq: the sale of Operation Iraqi Freedom dog tags.
Profits from the sale of the dog tags, priced at $8 each, will go to members of the U.S. Army Reserve 671st Engineering Company and their families. The local VFW and the city of Tualatin, along with the Tualatin Elks Lodge and Rotary Club, have adopted the 671st, whose deployed members are expected to remain in Iraq for the rebuilding of that countryâ€™s infrastructure after the initial war effort is complete.
The idea is that the dog tagâ€™s purchaser wears the tag until the troops return home, said Dale Potts, VFW post commander.
The dog tags are available in silver, blue or red and come with silver ball neck chains. The front of each tag is engraved with the words â€œOperation Iraqi Freedom.â€ The standard engraving on the back says â€œSupport our troops,â€ or the tags can be personalized with a military memberâ€™s name for an additional $2.
Mayor Lou Ogden bought the first dog tag at Monday nightâ€™s City Council meeting. His tag is engraved with the name of Pfc. Taylor Mowery of Tualatin, a member of the 671st. Tualatin Trophy & Awards, owned by Todd and Donna Sevigny, is supplying the tags and donating all profits from the sales. â€œThat comes out to 70 or 80 percent of the sale,â€ said Donna Sevigny.
VFW post members approached the Sevignys about producing dog tags after hearing about a store in Salem that sells â€œfreedom braceletsâ€ to raise money for troops. Dog tags can be ordered at Tualatin Trophy & Awards, located in Martinazzi Square at 19291 S.W. Martinazzi Ave. Order forms also are available online at the Tualatin VFW Web site, www.patriothall.com.
The Sevignys have samples of the tags in all three colors to show customers. The red sample tag is engraved with the name of Donna Sevignyâ€™s cousinâ€™s husband, Air Force Staff Sgt. Cesar Suarez, who is in Kuwait. That tag â€œprobably will be mine,â€ Donna said.
Members of the Tualatin VFW began its troop support efforts before the war began. One of its projects is to collect â€œcare packageâ€ items to send to the troops. The donation collection points are listed on both the VFW Web site and the cityâ€™s Web site, www.ci.tualatin.or.us .
VFW Auxiliary member Evelyn Turner also is making â€œditty bagsâ€ for troops hospitalized at Landstuhl Army Regional Medical Center in Germany. Heidi Dennis, a member of the adopted 671st, and rescued POW Jessica Lynch are among the soldiers who have received ditty bags, the local VFW has learned.