Alan Alda is auctioning off his screen-used M*A*S*H dog tags and boots for charity

They were the only things Alda kept from M*A*S*H, and they have a real-life combat history.

If you've ever wanted a piece of the 4077th yourself, now you can! Over five decades after the premiere of the massively successful show M*A*S*H, Alan Alda (Hawkeye) has decided to put his on-screen momentos up for auction. 

The dog tags and boots — both actually worn by veterans before being used on M*A*S*H — were worn by Alda for eleven seasons. He took them home after the record-breaking series finale, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen". Now, they're being auctioned off to raise money for the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science, an organization that aims to teach scientists how to communicate more effectively with the public.

The lot includes a signed letter from Alda, which reads:

Boots and Tags
By Alan Alda

I put these boots on every day that we shot MASH, for eleven years. And the dog tags, too. And every time my foot found its way into one of the boots, or the necklace of tags went over my head, I remembered: Someone had worn these once in a real war.

Each of the two dog tags bore a different name, religion and ID number, and I always wondered what had become of the soldiers who had worn them. Which war had they been part of? Had they survived it?

Thinking about these men wasn't some kind of acting exercise. They were on my mind because I was literally in their shoes and wearing the metal tags stamped with the minimal words and numbers that served as their identity. When I laced up the boots, I thought about the guy who had worn them before me, and what he might have had to go through, compared to their present occupier.

When the show ended, the boots and tags were the only things I kept. I never wore them again — just kept them on a shelf.

As the years passed — more than fifty since I'd first put them on — I realized they could have a life again. I had begun to devote most of my time helping improve how science and medicine are communicated. In the past few years, The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science has worked with 20,000 scientists and doctors around the world to help them explain their work to the rest of us.

The boots and tags could be part of that. Putting them up for auction, with all proceeds going to the non-profit Center, is a way for them to march again. This time to help improve communication — something a little different from the conflict in which they were first worn. [Signed] Alan Alda

At the time of writing, the bidding is up to $23,000.

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31 Comments

Burnett33 9 months ago
1 hour of mash was enough I like the Andy Griffith better
GioLovesMash Burnett33 8 months ago
the A-TEAM IS ON H&I LOOK
https://www.handitv.com/shows/the-A-team
GioLovesMash Burnett33 8 months ago
you JUST GOT hawkeyed
obectionoverruled 9 months ago
Sorry, I never warmed up to the MASH serial or Alan Alda. In real life and on screen, I’ve always felt that he’s a kind a smart ass that thinks he’s about 2 levels above anyone in his orbit. The perpetual scenes of him and his cronies doing field surgery on shot up troops just never clicked with me, and I spent a year (1969) in Viet Nam with my activated National Guard unit close to very similar action. We were rear guard troops - at the Saigon airport mostly - and never had to go out on infantry patrol, but I saw and met many medical personnel coming and going that way. None were as loose lipped or condescending as the TV MASH crowd, and they were mostly buttoned down officers in fatigues or field whites. Alan Alda did none of them any justice. He’s a jerk IMO.
dude chill out it was a tv series it wasn't like the real thing I had family members in the war ww2 and Vietnam it was to show a little fun side to everything even though war is hell as my dad said it took off the real edge of what went on .
Wiseguy70005 9 months ago
"If you've ever wanted a peice of the 4077th yourself..."

peice???
Wiseguy70005 9 months ago
Why didn't he try to find the original owners or their descendants instead of auctioning them off?
Coldnorth Wiseguy70005 9 months ago
I was wondering the same thing
MAPS 9 months ago
For the DING...DONG the sed to cut out the extra hour......
NOW.....! THAT'S.... !
TOTALLY. . . ! UN.AMERICAN ! ! !

YOU SHOULD BE A FREEKIN SHAME OF YOURSELF 😱..👹..
(🐀+💩 = _____ )
(👦🐩 = _____ )
Wiseguy70005 MAPS 9 months ago
English isn't your first language, is it?
Burnett33 MAPS 9 months ago
Yeah I prefer to watch the a team
MAPS 9 months ago
How can you put a bid in on "Hawkeye" dog tags and "boon -dockers
For you civilians that's boots....
I was Navy but the same term . . . .
Stardust_Memories 9 months ago
I wish Loretta would auction off her mash worn under garments 😍
Jamie Farr would probably outbid you. :)
Wiseguy70005 clovergirl 9 months ago
You're confusing actor and character.
Runeshaper 9 months ago
Great cause from a super kind guy!
WordsmithWorks 9 months ago
The Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science is part of the Journalism department at Stony Brook University (SUNY), my alma mater.
CoreyC 9 months ago
Why didn't Klinger get a week?
Bapa1 CoreyC 9 months ago
Because he's a drag queen.
LoveMETV22 CoreyC 9 months ago
He should/could of, but didn't. Wondering if it had anything to do with:
The 50th Anniversary "The Best by Farr" Celebration they did last year?

https://www.metv.com/stories/metv-celebrates-the-m-a-s-h-50th-anniversary-with-the-best-by-farr

Although those were hand picked favorites of Jamie Farr's , not necessarily focused on the "Klinger" character itself.
CoreyC LoveMETV22 9 months ago
I didn't think about that. Thanks
Wiseguy70005 LoveMETV22 9 months ago
Always could have/would have/should have.
NEVER could of/would of/should of.
English 101.
LoveMETV22 Wiseguy70005 9 months ago

-------------------------------------------
"Shown"
Grammar 101
LoveMETV22 Wiseguy70005 9 months ago
"Nobody including MeTV would pay for that basically unknown series."

The use of the second "for"?
Andybandit 9 months ago
That was nice of Alan for doing that. Now take off the extra hour of MASH and put something else on MeTv
Andybandit 9 months ago
This comment has been removed.
Wiseguy70005 StephenCraig 9 months ago
Anybody who doesn't agree with you is uncultured?
Burnett33 Andybandit 9 months ago
Yeah put the A-Team back on
DocForbin 9 months ago
If you ask me they belong in the Smithsonian along with the directional sign that's already there.
MrsPhilHarris DocForbin 9 months ago
I do like that sign.
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