Friday, February 29, 2008

That close to finding McClellan history

I'll try to keep this brief.

A few weeks ago, I wrote a column about the need for a Fort McClellan museum. It's something I believe passionately about, though I have little confidence that the biggest two issues -- finding a willing investor and acquiring the needed memorabilia -- could be overcome.

But that's not what I am writing about.

In my column, I mentioned that Miki Schneider of the Joint Powers Authority has a dog tag on her desk. The tag was pulled from a Fort McClellan landfill. For her, the tag has a strong sentimental value because it shows the need to preserve the former fort's history.

The name on the tag, which I wrote about, is George Jones, a Baptist with O-positive blood. We know nothing about the soldier.

A few days after my column was published, I received an e-mail from someone who said they had a family member -- named George Jones, of course -- who was stationed at Fort McClellan decades ago. That George Jones is now dead, unfortunately, but his family was trying to locate his Social Security number to see if the dog tag was his.

Thus, for a few days I had to wait to see if we'd found a real needle in the haystack.

We didn't. When his family found his SS number, it did not match the one on the dog tag on Schneider's desk.

We were that close. But I guess we'll keep trying.