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The flip side of our collecting


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Several years ago, I bought some WWII era U.S. Army medals from an antique shop here in town. The owner told me a young man came in and sold them explaining they had been his Dads, but the young man said he was out of a job and had a wife and a baby to support and was selling those medals that his late father had given him as keepsakes. He just needed the money to cover living expenses till he could land a job. I told the shop owner that if he ever saw that young fellow again, to tell him his Dads medals had a special place in my collection.

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Good for you. At least someone got to take them on. Some of this stuff is just thrown away otherwise. I have an entire WWI collection that I bought from a forum member that was demolishing a house and the family wanted the entire trunk gotten rid of. I don't know which is worse, throwing it away, or selling it for money. I know the money is needed, but once gone, those memories will fade quickly without the reminders.


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Humbling...

Actively collecting:

13th USAAF uniforms and groups/medal groups!

307th BG, 5th BG, 11th BG, 42nd BG

Also looking for:

WWII Far East Air Force uniforms/groups!

Any Pacific Army Air Force Groups to 5th, 7th, 10th, 14th, 20th AAF

Collecting CBI and ATC Pacific Army Air Force groups

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Selling medals for money virtually assures preservation of the items. Throwing it away like unwanted junk is disgraceful. As a former collector of RFC/RAF medals I can assure you that the collector market has been very strong in the UK for a long time. This is a wonderful historical group and I hope fetches big bucks for this hero. They belong to him and his family. They can do as they wish. BTW did you know it's illegal for the family of a recipient to sell a Medal of Honor in the U.S.? Bobgee

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"I have only two men out of my company and 20 out of some other company. We need support, but it is almost suicide to try to get it here as we are swept by machine gun fire and constant barrage is on us. I have no one on my left and only a few on my right. I will hold." (Message sent by 1st Lt. Clifton B. Cates. USMC, 96th Co., Soissons, 19 July 1918 - later 19th Commandant of the Marine Corps 1948-1952)

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I helped a Tarawa Vet's widow sell her husbands medals, trophies, momento's, etc of his service so that she could buy a proper tomb stone for her husband and herself. It's a sad fact of life. The guy I sold them to, is a member of this forum and fine curator. So, they are being cared for.

"There is no such thing as an expert, only students with different levels of education."
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I thought England had socialised medicine??

No matter. Why is'nt this vet being taken care of?

 

If he or his children want to sell his medals, that's up to them but they shouldn't have to to pay for care.

Terry

You are his witness now, without a witness, they just disappear!

Quote from the movie TAKING CHANCE 2009

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Ok...let me chip in here. Like many western nations, the UK has an ageing population in the sense that people are simply living longer thanks to improvements in medical treatments and wholesome diets etc. In a nutshell, the percentage of over 65s in an overall population of around 60 million is higher now than it's ever been...and is set to rise even further in the decades ahead! This puts an increasing strain on the state because as a consequence, it (via the taxpayer) has to pay out a lot more in terms of pensions and health benefits etc. Long term care for the elderly is not entirely state-funded. Those that can't afford it get it for free, but those with some assets are expected to make a contribution to their care costs, especially if they opt for a privately-run nursing home, which I suspect is the case here. Let's put in in perspective...the numbers of "old soldiers" with exceptional gallantry awards are relatively few. The vast majority of surviving WW2 vets will simply have service and campaign medals, much like in the US. So, instances of such big-money sales are uncommon. It's sad to see, but it's not the first time that someone, somewhere has had to sell off "the family silver" in order to pay the bills, whether British or American...nor will it be the last!

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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There is only so much that can be done to help veterans in financial need. The government cannot be the ONLY answer, and especially not the way America is headed. We could take care of veterans if we stopped giving money to worthless causes, but hey, these guys are old and about ready to die anyway! HOW SAD that there is no money for those who gave us this freedom.

**PLEASE NOTE: THIS COMMUNITY MEMBER HAS SADLY PASSED AWAY**

http://www.usmilitariaforum.com/forums/index.php?/topic/301020-robin-ray/

 

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When I visited Boston in the recent past we stayed in an up-market hotel. A few minutes away along the street was a Veterans' Center. We were warned by the hotel's desk clerk to be mindful of drunk veterans begging for cash in the vicinity of the center...and indeed we did see several "dead-beats" on the sidewalk outside the center. Now, I'm not suggesting for one minute that Uncle San treats his vets like that, but it just goes to show that even in the most enlightened societies there are "problems".

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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HOW SAD that there is no money for those who gave us this freedom.

 

 

I do NOT want this to get into a political debate but it is not just the vets who need help. How sad it is that there are so many people of all walks of life in all countries who are in need.

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Kat...the international banking crisis which stemmed from the US sub-prime mortgage issue hit all of our economies hard. We...like you, have had to endure drastic reductions in public spending and slow growth. National belts have had to be tightened....and it ain't over 'til the fat lady sings!

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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I do NOT want this to get into a political debate but it is not just the vets who need help. How sad it is that there are so many people of all walks of life in all countries who are in need.

Amen to that.

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A late collector friend of mine...who also happened to be a millionaire businessman...specialized in collecting high-end aviation medal groupings...RAF Battle of Britain...ditto Luftwaffe...USN aviators (Navy Cross winners) and AVG. The most I saw him pay was £30,000 / $46,000 at auction for a Battle of Britain Sgt-Pilot's decorations about 10 years ago. He had a million-dollar collection! My point is that every single expensive medal group in his collection was willingly sold either privately or at auction by family members of the deceased vets. This might seem like sacrilege to us but, sadly, sometimes family members only see $$$$$/££££ signs rather than history and honour. It's not uncommon.

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Selling medals for money virtually assures preservation of the items.

 

That is the "plus side" for selling the awards at a high visibility auction or event. The new owner will probably take pretty darn good care of the medals, and preserve them. In working on my book, I've visited so many families were I've seen the medals just haphazardly tossed in a box, taped into a frame with scotch tape (over the ribbons, no less), and so on...sometimes stomach-churning. I've always given them advice on how to preserve them...but with the value of the groups I am seeing, I know for certain if they were to make it into collector's circles, they'd probably be very well taken care of (though I always encourage the families to keep them...but just take better care of what they have...)

 

Dave

Only a weak society needs government protection or intervention before it pursues its resolve to preserve the truth. Truth needs neither handcuffs nor a badge for its vindication. -Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy

Peace is not the absence of war, but the defense of hard-won freedom. -Anton LaGuardia


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Dave is spot-on with his assessment! The collector friend I mentioned in the previous post used to spend a fortune on getting his newly acquired expensive medal groups professionally mounted and framed to a very high standard, lavishing much more care on them than the families ever did! Setting foot in his den was a sight to behold with many thousands of £/$ worth of medal groupings displayed in cabinets and on walls...with suitably subdued lighting, of course! (He passed away suddenly about five years ago, aged 47! :( ) His estate will pass on to his teenage daughter when she reaches 21. What will happen to the medals etc then is anyone's guess!

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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We're talking about a countrie's veteran in this thread, not the huddled masses on welfare. We should take better care of our veterans then lazy, abled bodied freeloaders.

 

 

There are a LOT of people who are NOT freeloaders who need help. To say that everyone who is NOT a Veteran who needs help is a freeloader is a bunch of hooey! There are people from ALL walks of life who abuse the system; rich and poor, veteran and civilian. Do NOT try to group everyone in a certain category. I know some hard working people who are down on their luck right now. Not ONE of them is a free-loader!

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Lady and gentleman...this is rapidly developing political overtones, as predicted in an earlier post....and we all know what that results in, don't we?! :o

"We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be. We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender!"

 

Winston Churchill

" Life is what happens to you when you're busy making other plans."

John Winston Lennon

 

 

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Folks, I did not post this to become a political topic, but more along the lines of what happens to the things we all tend to collect and in many cases why we are collecting it. I would ask that we stay off the political aspects and along the original intent. For some reason, when I post non-tangible toppics, it gets political, locked down and removed. For once, I would like a post to not get locked down.


Visit my eBay store: http://stores.ebay.com/crustyw4scorner/

 

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We're talking about a countrie's veteran in this thread, not the huddled masses on welfare. We should take better care of our veterans then lazy, abled bodied freeloaders.

A reporter once did some research on a group of "troubled Vietnam vets" who'd gathered for some sort of event. Something like 50% of them were not even old enough to have served during the Vietnam war. There are a lot of posers who skew the perspective. It's like New York City public bus accidents: if there were 10 people on the bus at the time of the crash, there will be 30 aboard before the paramedics and police arrive.

 

I have some disabled Vietnam vet buddies who swear by the care they get from the VA, but, as with society as a whole, the VA has not come up with a magic solution to the problems of the mentally ill and/or chronic homeless, veterans or not. The US decided long ago that it would not involuntarily institutionalize those too screwed up to take care of themselves. So we set up shelters, drop-in food and medical care centers and other services and hope these most-troubled veterans will come in out of the cold and get help and be rehabilitated, as it were.


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Most if not all veterans and a few in the household should be taken care of because of their sacrifices with some of our tax $$$$. Unfortunately at times it is not enough. If a veteran or veteran's family wants or needs to sell - it is to their choosing. We can only keep the memories alive by collecting.

 

IMHO

Chris

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