Combat veterans, I need opinions....


August 23, 2005, 07:57 PM
I want to know if this is something you all would appreciate. I have a friend who recently returned from Iraq. We will get together this weekend for the first time in nearly two years. I am picking up a Springfield Mil-Spec stainless for him. The issue I need opinions on is this:

I am having the gun engraved. The left side will read

SPC (his name)
For your service in the United States armed forces
Thank you

and on the right I want to have the POW/MIA insignia engraved.

Is this a gift a veteran soldier would appreciate, or is there a better idea?
(also, he does not currently own a handgun, so he certainly needs one to ensure his family's safety, including his as-of-yet unborn daughter)

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August 23, 2005, 08:05 PM
Why the POW/MIA insignia?

August 23, 2005, 08:18 PM
Why the POW/MIA insignia?


Brian Williams
August 23, 2005, 08:23 PM
Great Idea, I wish I had someone like that when Vietnam was over for each and every one.
re POW/MIA ok idea, His unit crest might be cool also.

Ala Dan
August 23, 2005, 08:31 PM

Why? Just in case you forgot, REMEMBERANCE of those that
gave when called to duty.

In my way of thinking, a great idea. Like my friend Brian said it
would have been nice to have at the end of the Viet-Nam war,
as well.

August 23, 2005, 08:32 PM
That's a phenomenally cool idea. Wish I had friends like you!

In all honesty, he will be happy just to be back on American soil and in the company of family and friends. Your support, handshake, and 'welcome home' will be all the thanks he needs...

Your thoughtfulness will certainly be highly appreciated, I'm certain.

August 23, 2005, 08:45 PM
I don't know if I would do the POW/MIA deal, that is unless he was one.

Service members are allways proud of the units they belonged to, maybe have it engraved with his combat unit patch and motto with Iraq 2004-2005 or what ever appropriate year.

Of all the things I have from the Army, my Big Red One divisional coin is the thing I cherrish the most and have in my pocket every day.

If you need help finding the patch and motto we can probably help find it if you know what his mailing address was while he was deployed or the unit/base he was in CONUS

Since you listed his rank of SPC he is Army, I would probably change your inscription to say US Army.

He now wears a unit patch on his right shoulder, to people in the Army, that patch is priceless and a sign of honor. Just a thought.

August 23, 2005, 08:50 PM
A hell of an idea. The POW/MIA thing *is* about respect and represents much more than meets the eye. My hat (or bandanna as it may be) is off to Ya.

August 23, 2005, 08:51 PM
My "friends" (4F) wondered where I have been for the last 4 years. Wish I would have had one like you. I have my zippo lighter that I had engraved while in RVN. Don't smoke anymore but still carry it every day as a reminder of much tougher times a long time ago.

August 23, 2005, 10:17 PM
I wouldn't do the POW/MIA - unless you know he would love it. It's a personal item, not a promotion of a cause, whoever worthy.
If he shows it to someone in 30 years as your givft, will everybody ask him "Have you been a POW?"

Same with slogans, mottoes, etc. - the one on a personal gift should relate directly to the person in question.


August 23, 2005, 10:53 PM
Vietnam vet here.

I would skip the POW/MIA and engrave his unit crest instead.

August 23, 2005, 11:11 PM
Great idea, but the POW-MIA is used by AMVETS and VN Vets. It is great, but his unit crest would be better for this one. I have Fidem Meam Noto on mine. (I am faithful) You could get the past tense of that to symbolize his service.

August 24, 2005, 12:15 AM
I would go with the unit crest, also. I have wished often I still had mine.


August 24, 2005, 07:07 AM
I'm touched, great idea. Wish I had friends like you.

1 old 0311
August 24, 2005, 07:42 AM
Good idea, but I would hold off on the POW/MIA issue. My $.02.

A 1/3 3 Rd Mar Div

1911 guy
August 24, 2005, 08:08 AM
But would also omit the POW/MIA insignia. I'd engrave either his unit crest or the seal from branch of service (Army, Navy, etc.).

August 24, 2005, 08:08 AM
Lose the POW/MIA. Go with the unit insignia (and make darn sure it's the right one - triple check), maybe a map of Iraq, that sorta thing. I'd also leave his rank off - that may change.

August 24, 2005, 08:53 AM
POW/MIA remembrance is a noble cause but, it's about Vietnam not Iraq. Stay focused on your friend and his service. You guys are doing a great thing that will be greatly appreciated by him. Shake his hand for me also.

August 24, 2005, 09:11 AM
I think the POW/MIA thing is a little off, too. How bout "Joseph P. Smith, USA" Iraq

and on other side a slogan like "This We'll Defend." or some other relevant saying. Of course, if he's other than Army, you have to adjust.

August 24, 2005, 09:20 AM
I don't know if I would do the POW/MIA deal, that is unless he was one.

I was never a POW but I have worn a POW/MIA religiously since joining the Army in 1983.
Follow the link in my signature to read about John Brooks who is my POW.
It's about honoring those that gave all for us and respecting them.

I personally would rather have a POW insignia then my unit crest.

August 24, 2005, 03:43 PM
viet nam
Desert 1

My personal opinion Don't do the POW thing. The best idea here was engrave his unit crest.
Guys coming home can be really weird. Mom cooks everything he's ever loved and all he really wants is a Big Mac. It can be strange. and for God's Sake don't ask the million dollar question and shut up anybody that does ask it.

and in the end have you considered he just might not want to be thanked?

to those that said POW/MIA as a sign of respect thanks but for my .02 and many of my brothers it's a very painful reminder. Very Painful.

But that's just me


August 24, 2005, 03:57 PM
The US flag or Army Seal might be appropriate. Other ideas can be found here:

August 24, 2005, 04:04 PM
Another vote for his unit crest.

Vern Humphrey
August 24, 2005, 04:06 PM
I'll go along with with the unit crest (or perhaps division patch.)

Great gift, by the way! Wish somebody'd given me one when I got back from Viet Nam!

August 24, 2005, 05:24 PM
Yep, Unit Crest.

Very thoughtful of you...

August 24, 2005, 05:25 PM
Outstanding gift.
Believe I would leave off the POW/MIA thing but, what matters are his feelings in that area.


August 24, 2005, 05:35 PM
very generous! Would you be able to post a pic of it after you get it engraved?

August 24, 2005, 06:05 PM
I wish I had friends like you!

Here's another vote for the unit crest instead of the POW/MIA


August 24, 2005, 07:59 PM
I too would omit POW/MIA. If the crest doesn't work out, a unit motto (slide length permitting) would also be very appropriate.

August 24, 2005, 09:34 PM
Well, it's done. Came out real nice.

It ended up that there really wasn't enough room left anywhere after the enscription for any sort of detailed crest or symbol that could be done with a mechanical engraver, and my time frame is too short to have laser work done. So it is just the text. I would love to post pics, but unfortunately I have not been able to get my jpg downloading to work ever since I updated the software. We'll get pic's when we present it to him Sunday, and I'll have a friend of mine download them. Anyone know of a good host, since I have never posted pics on any forums?

August 24, 2005, 10:02 PM
Mach, I've got to hand it to you, that is a real nice thing to do.

Brian Williams
August 24, 2005, 10:18 PM

August 24, 2005, 11:00 PM
That's a nice gesture.

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