After losing his father, he had no clue how badass he was until he asked some veterans on social


The son of a US Army veteran never understood just how important his late father’s service was- until he asked the internet to identify the ribbons on his dress uniform.

David Sandana, who bears the same name as his late father, retired First Sergeant David Sandana, posted his father’s “dress greens” (which came before the blue Army Service Uniform and the “pink and greens”) to social media, hoping to learn more about the man’s service.

“Can you take a look at this uniform and tell me what it all means?” he wrote on June 5. “My father passed away and I don’t know where to look for all these badges and medals. I would appreciate it.”

Soon, his thread was filled with hundreds of comments, including photos of his dad while in service.

“He was a 1st SGT, has his Combat Infantryman’s Badge, Airborne Wings, Ranger Tab, Pathfinder qualified, was a drill sergeant, and has been awarded 2 Purple Hearts,” Robert Seelig responded. “Stripes on lower sleeve signify 3 years in combat zone, and 24 years of service at that point.”

At one point, another user posted a screenshot of a December 1987 newsletter from the 75th Ranger Regiment Association, which featured a then-SFC Sandana earning his Ranger Tab at the age of 41 in November of 1986.

“75th RRA Association Vice President Billy J. Nix, a DAV National Service Officer, pins the Ranger Tab on smiling SFC David Sandana, November 13, 1986,” the caption read. “Nix and Sandana served together in Vietnam with L/75 Rangers during 1970-1971. Sandana finally got his shot at Ranger School, at age 41.”

Earning one’s Ranger Tab is no easy feat, let alone at the age of 41.

To sum up the conversation, thread participant Michael Meily put it perfectly:

“I don’t know anyone on this thread, but this is the coolest thread discussion I’ve ever seen on social media.”

Sandana, whose father served on Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols with the 75th in Vietnam, was touched by the entire affair.

“You all have brought tears to my eyes,” he wrote. “Waking up this morning and seeing the level of helpfulness and respect. My father was a nice guy who was always smiling. Everyone he met usually liked him. He told me a lot about his war stories and the reason for volunteering to go back to Nam so many times and joining the LRRP’s.”

There is solace, it seems, in knowing that the internet can still be a wholesome place.

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