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The son of a fighter pilot killed in the Vietnam War flew his father's remains home after more than 50 years
More than five decades ago, the son of Air Force Col. Roy Knight waved goodbye to his father as he headed off to war.
On Thursday, that same son flew his father's remains back to the very same airport
The emotional scene was first reported on Twitter by Jackson Proskow, who was at the Dallas Love Airport waiting for a flight when an announcement over the intercom informed travelers that the pilot flying the South West Airlines plane that brought Knight's remains home on Aug. 8, was one of his two sons, Bryan Knight, the airline confirmed to Task & Purpose.
Col. Knight's A-1E Skyraider was hit by anti-aircraft fire during a mission over northern Laos on May 19, 1967, and subsequently crashed. According to a Department of Defense statement, after Knight's aircraft was hit, the other two Skyraiders on the mission reported that no parachute was observed, and that "no beeper signals were heard." Though a search and rescue mission was mounted, the intensity of enemy fire forced the troops to withdraw.
In September 1974, after being deemed missing for seven years, he was declared deceased.
Decades later, following a joint investigation of the crash site by teams from the United States and Lao People's Democratic Republic, Knight's remains were positively identified on June 4, 2019, according to the June 13, Department of Defense statement.
"They were able to make a complete identification of my father based on dental records, and it doesn't get any better than that," Roy Knight, the eldest of Knight's two sons told the Weatherford Democrat.
"Since I was 11 years old my identity has been the son of this missing man, so the fact that we're ending this journey is kind of hard to describe," he continued. "You have these competing emotions — you're happy this is resolved, but there's that uncomfortable feeling of change and coming to grips with reality, then there's also immense, intense sadness that comes whenever you contemplate the loss of someone that's important to you. It has been a little more difficult to deal with in that regard and the fact is, reliving a lot of that and unpacking it all and dealing with it again does have an emotional aspect to it."
On Aug. 10, Knight will be laid to rest at Holder's Chapel United Methodist Church in Weatherford Texas where he will recieve full military honors, according to his obituary.
About 1,500 Schofield Barracks soldiers, 16 helicopters and hundreds of Humvees, heavy equipment and shipping containers are headed to Thailand for the first stop of Pacific Pathways 2020, an Army approach to bulking up in the region with a light but persistent footprint that follows the "places, not bases" mantra of the Pentagon.
This year also will bring similar Pathways four- to five-month troop deployments (but not from Hawaii) to the Philippines and, in a first, an Oceania rotation to locations including Timor-Leste, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, Tonga, Fiji, Palau and Yap.
The fall time frame will include another first for the Army: Defender Pacific, in which 8,000 to 10,000 mainland-based soldiers will practice rapidly deploying for 30 to 45 days through the second and first island chains that China defines around the South China Sea.
In 2021 Defender Pacific could jump to 30,000 soldiers rotating through on relatively short notice, Defense News reported. About 85,000 soldiers are assigned to the region.
There's nothing quite like finding out that the nifty little trinket you blew a paycheck on when you were a junior enlisted service member is actually worth three-quarters of a million dollars. (Take that every SNCO who ever gave a counseling statement on personal finances.)
Special Operations Command review finds deployment and leadership issues but no 'systemic ethics problem'
The long-awaited Special Operations Command's ethics review has finally been released, which argues that there is no "systemic ethics problem" in the special operations community while acknowledging a range of underlying problems stemming from a high operations tempo and insufficient leadership.
John Kelly, the retired Marine general who worked as President Trump's chief of staff for more than 16 months, told a crowd in Sarasota, Florida on Monday that he trusted John Bolton and thinks he should testify in the Senate impeachment trial.
"If John Bolton says that in the book I believe John Bolton," Kelly said during a town hall lecture series, according to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, mentioning claims in a forthcoming memoir by Trump's former national security advisor that the president told him a freeze on military aid to Ukraine was conditioned on the country opening an investigation into the Bidens.