INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The lone military identification tag that North Korea provided with 55 boxes of human remains last month belonged to Master Sgt. Charles H. McDaniel, an Army medic from Indiana who was killed with Chinese soldiers in November 1950.
On Wednesday, the Army handed McDaniel's slightly corroded dog tag to his sons, Charles Jr. and Larry, who were so young at the time that they have little memory of their father.
"Symbols are very powerful," Charles McDaniel Jr. said. "This is a very beat-up simple little thing that millions of millions of people have worn. But when it comes in this context, it's also about hope."
The dog tag is the first tangible touchstone of hope that some or all of the remains in the 55 boxes will be identifiable by the team of forensic experts, anthropologists and other specialists who already are sorting out the bones and preparing to send some of them to a laboratory in Dover, Delaware, for DNA analysis.