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For Memorial Day: Restoration Expert Honors His Father’s Service by Restoring Precious Military Memorabilia for Others
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May 26, 2023, 9:09 AM ET
Brian Thomas of Paul Davis Restoration of East Michigan Created The Restoring Valor Project
The essence of the project is to restore precious & priceless items that many military veterans and their families have in their possession.
"My father, Bruce Thomas, served in the Vietnam War. He was in the Army and was ‘in-country’ for two years (1967-68). After his first year, he was discharged from the military so that he could attain ‘civilian’ status. This enabled him to join the CIA and serve as a military advisor to the South Vietnamese Army. He lived with members of that army for an entire year. At the end of his tour, he was re-enlisted into the military so that he could be formally discharged and sent home. He was awarded three Purple Hearts...as he was wounded three times in combat. His rank was Staff Sargent and the things he had from those days gave me the idea for this special project.” Brian is one of four boys born to Staff Sargent Thomas. Brian explained that his Dad kept all of his items from the war in a box at home which is a common practice for returning service members.
When Brian heard that his local VFW was looking for experts in the area who could restore some of the precious objects they had been given over the years, he and his team stepped right up. They arrived at the VFW with trucks and packed up hundreds of pieces. Among them, dog tags, medals, pieces of equipment and other related items, many of which have been passed down from generation to generation and are imbued with deep sentimental value. While these may be simple physical objects, they are also the irreplaceable symbolic embodiment of the military service and sacrifice of so many Americans and their families according to Brian.
“These items represent the unrivaled valor and courage of the best among us and they deserve to be treated with extreme care and reverence.
One of the techniques we use in the restoration of many of the objects is Ultrasonic Cleaning. Technicians load soiled items into an ultrasonic device – which looks much like a large industrial washing machine – filled with cleaning solution. Ultrasonic sound frequencies – far above the level that humans can perceive – then buzz through the liquid. The sound waves, which can be seen as ripples on the surface, generate millions of incredibly tiny bubbles that churn through and against every surface to dislodge soot, bacteria, grime, and other contamination.”
Brian’s team got together discreetly and restored and shadow-boxed many of Bruce Thomas’ memorabilia from Viet Nam and presented them as a gift to Brian. Thomas concluded, “I could not have been more touched. And now we are excited to see what other treasures might be uncovered and just how uplifting it will be for so many people around the Memorial Day holiday when we honor our vets.”
Visit Brian’s website at www.pauldaviseastmichigan.com or for queries about owning a franchise go to www.pauldavisbusiness.com
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