An Iowa man who lost a gold ring he had made to commemorate his service in Vietnam says it has been returned to him after 40 years. John Jones, 64, had the ring customized with his infantry, initials and Social Security number after serving in the 25th Infantry Army Division in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Jones thought the ring was gone for good when it slipped off his finger while swimming at Lake Delhi in 1971. However, the Lake Delhi dam broke in 2010, emptying the lake, and metal detector enthusiasts, including Steve Gola of Grayslake, Illinois, were drawn to the area. “I knew it was a special ring right when I dug it up. With the eagles on the side and just the way it looked,” Gola said. Gola was able to make out the engravings after cleaning the ring and returned it to its owner. He said it took the Iowa Department of Veterans Affairs two years to track down Jones, who was presented with the ring at Veterans Auditorium in Des Moines Sunday.
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (L) places a "Sec Def Challenge Coin" in the palm of a US soldier during a ceremony where he presented over 150 such coins to troops at Camp Victory in Baghdad,on July 11, 2011. He delivered remarsk to the 1-63 Dagger Brigade, 1st Battalion, 63rd Armor Regiment, 2nd Advise and Assist Brigade; 25th Infantry; 116th Calvary Brigade Combat Team thanking them for their service. The Secretary is wearing his class ring from Santa Clara University. AFP POOL PHOTO/POOL/PAUL J. RICHARDS