Vietnam War ID tag found in Russia returned to U.S. soldier’s widow

First published on October 1, 2020 / 12:10 PM He and his wife moved to Bismarck to be closer to family a few months before his death in January 2007. ID tag returned to widow of U.S. The tag was eventually returned to the North Dakota Governor’s Office. Ron, who passed away in 2007, was wounded in a blast and lost his dog tags. Hepper woke up in the hospital with no boots and no dog tags. He received the Purple Heart for his injuries.After his military service, Hepper returned to a ranch near Isabel, South Dakota. soldier wounded in Vietnam War — after being found in Russia

October 1, 2020 / 12:10 PM
/ CBS/AP

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He spent three months in an amputee ward, but doctors were able to save his legs, which were wounded by shrapnel. We are forever grateful for his courageous service and sacrifice. https://t.co/iZFDaBs8ma pic.twitter.com/vr9pnEWhyE— Gov. Army identification tag of a North Dakota soldier has been returned to his widow after it resurfaced in Russia. Trending News

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It’s not clear how the ID ended up in Russia but Ruth Hepper believes it may have been discovered and collected by one of the Russian soldiers who served alongside the North Vietnamese military, KXMA reports.Ron Hepper is buried at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, the station reported. Governor Doug Burgum gave Ronald Hepper’s military tag to his widow, Ruth Hepper of Bismarck, on Wednesday. 

“We are forever grateful for his courageous service and sacrifice,” the governor tweeted. 
Honored to return the ID tags of Vietnam War veteran and Purple Heart recipient Ron Hepper to his family today. The American bought the ID from a street vendor in Moscow and brought it to the American Embassy. She said her husband was a proud veteran who struggled with PTSD, CBS affiliate KXMA reports. The military ID was found by an American citizen traveling in Russia. Doug Burgum (@DougBurgum) September 30, 2020

Ronald Hepper had kept a set of his dog tags in his boots, and had been in Vietnam just a few months when a blast from a hand grenade blew his boots off his body in June 1969, according to Burgum’s office.