Veterans Benefits Information guide to VA benefits

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Home News 'I know what my vest means to me'

'I know what my vest means to me'

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In September of 2017, U.S. Army veteran Roger Kraatz was given a motorcycle vest found by his friend in a ditch along I-135 in Kansas between Salina and Lindsborg. Since then, Kraatz has made it his mission to return the vest back to its original owner.

Kraatz put photos of the size XS leather vest (pictured above) on his own Facebook page, with the image getting shared more than 50,000 times. He’s also messaged “every patch group that I can find on social media,” and posted it on other riding social media sites.

“I know what my vest means to me,” said Kraatz, a Legionnaire and American Legion Rider from Post 174 in Ellsworth, Kan. “It tells a story of what I’ve done (and) where I’ve been. I’m proud to wear it. And I feel if someone takes the time to pick out patches that they’ve earned or worked to receive, and they take the time to put it on their vest and wear it proudly … I know if I lost mine I’d want someone to try to get it back to me because of what it means to me. And I know a lot of people feel the same way as me.”

If you are the owner of the vest or know who is, please contact Kraatz via Facebook. Getting the vest back to its owner “will feel great,” Kraatz said. “When I set out to do things, I want to complete them 100 percent. I don’t want to halfway do it. It would feel great to accomplish that, and hopefully the person is missing it and wanting it back.

“My main goal is to make sure the original owner receives it. It’s part of that person, and I just want to do my best to try to get it back to them.”

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Did you know?

The issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be requested in writing.

Requests should be submitted in writing to the appropriate military service branch division of the NPRC. Standard form (SF 180), available through the VA, is recommended to submit your request. Generally, there is no charge for medal or award replacements. For more information, or for the mailing address of the military branch office to submit your request to, call 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272) or visit the NPRC website at