Roswell veteran’s war medals, dog tags stolen

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – It was a whirlwind Memorial Day weekend for a Roswell couple. After they found discarded dog tags in a dumpster, they took to social media to find the owner.

81-year-old Jim Robertson is thankful someone returned his son’s dog tags. Problem is, he didn’t know they were stolen after his son recently died.

Venus and James Wooddell were dumpster diving and looking for scrap metal over this Memorial Day weekend when they found something unexpected. Monday, KRQE News 13 talked to the couple and they have a message for the thieves.

“When we found the dog tags here, we figured they didn’t belong in the trash so we got our daughter to put it on the internet, to Facebook.  So then that’s how we found the family,” said Venus Wooddell.

They posted those pictures on the KRQE Facebook page and some other social media websites. Someone recognized the name and tracked down the family of Desert Storm veteran, Basil Robertson. He died last year from heart problems.

“We returned the dog tags yesterday and the father was very grateful but the story is not complete,” said Wooddell.

Now the Woodells are on a new mission. They learned the dog tags were stolen from the family’s storage unit. Thieves broke into the unit taking the dog tags and Robertson’s war medals.

Basil’s dad now just hopes the medals will be returned to his family where they belong.

If you have any information on the theft call Roswell police. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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