package, returned care
VIEW ALL PHOTOS (8)

From the collection of the National Park Service, National Mall and Memorial Parks.

package, returned care

CATALOG NUMBER

VIVE 02761

ACCESSION DATE

11/18/1993

ASSOCIATED NAMES ON THE WALL
ITEM SUMMARY

Artifact assemblage consisting of a returned, unopened, Vietnam-era care package and affixed handwritten note dedicated to U.S. Army Specialist 4 (SP4) Charles Leroy Stewart, Jr. The care package appears to have been sent to SP4 Stewart, Jr. by his family back home while he served 'in-country' in Vietnam in October 1972. Postmark stamps and a handwritten inscription upon the wrapped, unopened box indicate that the care package was returned to sender due to the fact that SP4 Stewart, Jr. had been killed in action (KIA) on October 31, 1972. A handwritten note taped to the upper surface of the package is addressed to, "Charles Stewart", is from, "Gary B", and reads, "Mom & Dad want you to have these cookies & Kool Aid. / Its [sic] time they gave these to you / They send all their love." The artifact assemblage was left at The Wall by Stewart family friend Gary Bjorkquist between September - November 1993.

ITEM DESCRIPTION

ASSEMBLAGE DEDICATED TO U.S. ARMY SPECIALIST 4 (SP4) CHARLES LEROY STEWART, JR. AND CONSISTING OF: COMPONENT (A) WRAPPED CARE PACKAGE, COMPONENT (B) HANDWRITTEN NOTE, AND COMPONENT (C) PACKAGE TWINE. COMPONENT (A) WRAPPED CARE PACKAGE. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A MEDIUM-SIZED, RECTANGULARLY SHAPED BOX WRAPPED IN BROWN PAPER, TIED WITH LENGTHS OF PACKAGE TWINE (COMPONENT (C)), AND SEALED INSIDE A SHEET OF CLEAR POLY-PLASTIC. THE BOX REPRESENTS A CARE PACKAGE SENT TO SP4 STEWART, JR BY HIS FAMILY BACK HOME WHILE HE SERVED 'IN-COUNTRY' IN VIETNAM IN LATE 1972, AND APPEARS TO STILL CONTAIN THE ORIGINAL FOODSTUFFS SEALED WITHIN. A HANDWRITTEN ADDRESS IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON THE BROWN PAPER WRAPPING AT THE EXTREME UPPER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE (OR UPPER) OBJECT SURFACE IDENTIFIES THE SENDER AND READS, "614 MPIS [?] / GLADSTONE, MICH / 49837". A SIMILAR HANDWRITTEN ADDRESS IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON THE BROWN PAPER WRAPPING AT THE LOWER, CENTER EDGE OF THE OBVERSE (OR UPPER) OBJECT SURFACE IDENTIFIES THE INTENDED RECIPIENT AND READS, "TO / SP4 CHARLES L. STEWART, JR. / 363 60 156 / CO F 50TH [?] INF / APO SAN FRANCISCO, CALIF / 96349". AT THE EXTREME UPPER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE (OR UPPER) OBJECT SURFACE HANDWRITTEN NOTATIONS IN BLACK INK AND ARABIC NUMERALS READ, "135 / 100 / ____ / 235". AT THE UPPER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE (OR UPPER) OBJECT SURFACE A FIVE (5) CENT STAMP FEATURING AN IMAGE OF U.S. SUPREME COURT CHIEF JUSTICE OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES IS AFFIXED TO THE BROWN PAPER WRAPPING, WHILE OTHER STAMPS ARE AFFIXED TO A SIMILAR AREA OF THE PACKAGE BUT ARE OBSCURED BY THE AFFIXED HANDWRITTEN NOTE (COMPONENT (B)). POSTMARK STAMPS IN RED INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON THE PROPER RIGHT-HAND SIDE OF THE OBVERSE (OR UPPER) SURFACE OF THE BOX IDENTIFY THE POSTMARK DATES/LOCATION AS, "OCT 30 1972" AND "GLADSTONE / NOV 22 1972 / MI", RESPECTIVELY. AT THE UPPER, PROPER RIGHT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE (OR UPPER) OBJECT SURFACE A STAMP IN BLACK INK AND BLOCK SCRIPT SPECIFIES THE POSTAL DESIGNATION, "RETURNED TO SENDER", WHILE A STRIP OF CLEAR, ADHESIVE PACKING TAPE AFFIXED TO THE EXTREME LOWER, PROPER LEFT-HAND CORNER OF THE OBVERSE (OR UPPER) OBJECT SURFACE BEARS A HANDWRITTEN INSCRIPTION IN BLACK MARKER AND BLOCK SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS READING, "KIA / 10-31-72". AT THE REVERSE (OR LOWER) OBJECT SURFACE A MANUFACTURER/SUPPLIER'S STAMP READING, "PAC" IS REPEATED TWICE (2) UPON THE BROWN PAPER WRAPPING. IT MAY BE PRESUMED, BASED UPON AN EVALUATION OF THE OBJECT AND A REVIEW OF VIVE CATALOG NOTES PREPARED BY MRCE COLLECTIONS STAFF, THAT THE CARE PACKAGE WAS SENT TO SP4 STEWART, JR BY HIS FAMILY BUT WAS RETURNED UNOPENED TO THE SENDER WHEN HE WAS KILLED IN ACTION (KIA) ON OCTOBER 31, 1972. A HANDWRITTEN NOTE (COMPONENT (B)) EXPLICATING THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF DONATION OF THE OBJECT AT THE VIETNAM VETERANS MEMORIAL (VVM) IS AFFIXED TO THE OBVERSE (OR UPPER) OBJECT SURFACE OF THE CARE PACKAGE VIA STRIPS OF CLEAR, ADHESIVE SCOTCH TAPE, WHILE THE PACKAGE ITSELF IS WRAPPED WITH LENGTHS OF BROWN PACKAGE TWINE (COMPONENT (C)). COMPONENT (B) HANDWRITTEN NOTE. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF A NOTE HANDWRITTEN IN BLUE INK AND CURSIVE SCRIPT/ARABIC NUMERALS UPON A SMALL, RECTANGULARLY SHAPED SHEET OF WHITE, LINED NOTEBOOK PAPER. THE NOTE IS ADDRESSED TO, "CHARLES STEWART", IS FROM, "GARY B [GARY BJORKQUIST, A STEWART FAMILY FRIEND]", AND INFORMS SP4 STEWART, JR THAT, "MOM & DAD WANT YOU TO HAVE THESE COOKIES & KOOL AID. / ITS [sic] TIME THEY GAVE THESE TO YOU / THEY SEND ALL THEIR LOVE." THE HANDWRITTEN NOTE IS PRESENTLY AFFIXED TO THE OBVERSE (OR UPPER) SURFACE OF COMPONENT (A) VIA STRIPS OF CLEAR, ADHESIVE SCOTCH TAPE. COMPONENT (C) PACKAGE TWINE. THE OBJECT CONSISTS OF SEVERAL LENGTHS OF BROWN PACKAGE TWINE LOOPED AROUND COMPONENT (A) TO SEAL THE PACKAGE AND KNOTTED TO SECURE IT DURING SHIPMENT/TRANSPORT. TURNER BOOK, PG. 121. ACCORDING TO VIVE CATALOG NOTES PREPARED BY MRCE COLLECTIONS STAFF, THE OBJECT IS PRESENTLY STORED IN ISOLATION DUE TO ORIGINAL FOODSTUFF CONTENTS CONTAINED WITHIN. FURTHERMORE, PHYSICAL COPIES OF DOCUMENTATION PHOTOS OF THE OBJECT MAY BE LOCATED IN TURNER BOX TU-002 BX 000013.

ACCESSION GROUP

VIVE-00122

RECORD COPONENT QTY

3

ASSOCIATED ITEM TEXT

Text of the printed and handwritten inscriptions upon COMPONENTS (A & B) is transcribed in full, as follows: [COMPONENT (A), obverse (upper) object surface, extreme, upper, proper right-hand corner, handwritten inscription] "614 MPIS [?] / Gladstone, MICH / 49837" / [COMPONENT (A), obverse (upper) object surface, extreme, upper, proper left-hand corner, handwritten inscription] "135 / 100 / _____ / 235" / [COMPONENT (A), obverse (upper) object surface, lower, center object edge, handwritten inscription] "To / SP4 Charles L. Stewart, Jr. / 363 60 4156 / Co F 50th [?] INF / APO San Francisco, Calif / 96349" / [COMPONENT (A), obverse (upper) object surface, extreme, lower, proper left-hand corner, affixed packing tape, handwritten inscription] "KIA / 10-31-72" / [COMPONENT (A), obverse (upper) object surface, upper, proper right-hand corner, stamped inscriptions] "RETURNED TO SENDER / OCT 30 1972 / GLADSTONE / NOV 22 1972 / MI" / [COMPONENT (A), reverse (lower) object surface, upper and lower object edges, stamped inscriptions] "PAC / PAC" / [COMPONENT (B), obverse object surface, handwritten inscription] "Charles Stewart / Mom & Dad want you to have these cookies & Kool Aid. / Its [sic] time they gave these to you / They send all their love. / [peace symbol] Gary B / 1W Line 87"

ITEM DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT

Item Weight: 1200.0g (Collective weight of COMPONENTS (A - C))
Item Length: 18.5cm
Item Width: 26.5cm
Item Height: 8.5cm

REMEMBRANCES

LEFT ON package, returned care
POSTED ON 10.31.2018
POSTED BY: Martin Dickson
I served in the military care packages so important to our morale this return to sender would have been a crushing blow to the family Lest we forget
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