A Ceremony For The Long Ago Fallen

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter, Navy Public Affairs Support Element West, Det. Northwest

TACOMA, Wash. – A burial service commemorating the return of a killed in action service member to American soil was held in Tacoma, Washington at Mountain View Funeral, Home April 18.

Lt. j.g. Richard C. Clark was shot down over the Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam Oct. 24, 1967 while on a combat air patrol mission and could not be confirmed as successfully ejecting the aircraft. He was carried as missing in action until later changed to presumed killed in action. The Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated 11 boxes of remains to the United States Jan. 16, 1991, which confirmed they contained Clark’s remains after DNA testing in 2014.

“There are not enough words to say how overdue this ceremony is,” said Peter Mohr, Pastor of the Lutheran Church of Christ the King, from Tacoma, Washington. “Though at long last, we can properly put to rest a hero who gave the ultimate sacrifice protecting their country.”

The ceremony included a three-volley salute, taps and a missing man formation flown by the “Vikings” from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island’s Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 129.

“My father was shot down in 1969,” said Cmdr. Brian Danielson, from Kenyon, Minnesota, “He remained MIA for 38 years until being returned home for a burial service. I am honored to do this for the Clark family and wish them the best during this time.”

Alongside active duty Sailors and family members were the Vietnam Veterans/Legacy Veterans Motorcycle Club Tacoma Chapter, who presented a bracelet with the date Clark went missing to his sister Marie Gleason.

“These bracelets are a sign that we will never forget our brothers who never came home,” said Martin Hoffman, a member of the Tacoma Chapter. “When we found out the ceremony was happening we came to lend our support and present his sister the bracelet. Clark is finally home where he belongs but there are so many more fallen members of the military still missing.”

The remains of every POW/MIA service member may never be found from the Vietnam War but the memory of their sacrifice protecting this country will never be forgotten.

“At my father’s service, the best compliment I could have received was this was the welcome home that every Vietnam veteran should have had, but did not,” said Danielson. “To that end, I say welcome home and thank you for your service. He is a real hero who we should celebrate.”

 

150418-N-JY507-029 TACOMA, Wash. (April 18, 2015) – Members of the Navy Region Northwest Honor Guard hold the American flag during a funeral service for Lt. j.g. Richard C. Clark at Mountain View Funeral Home Tacoma, Washington April 18. He was shot down over the Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam, Oct. 24, 1967 while on a combat air patrol mission. Clark, who could not be confirmed as having successfully ejected from the aircraft, was carried as missing in action until later changed to presumed killed in action. Jan. 16, 1991 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated 11 boxes of remains to the United States, which confirmed after DNA testing they contained Clark's remains in 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter/ Released)

150418-N-JY507-029 TACOMA, Wash. (April 18, 2015) – Members of the Navy Region Northwest Honor Guard hold the American flag during a funeral service for Lt. j.g. Richard C. Clark at Mountain View Funeral Home Tacoma, Washington April 18. He was shot down over the Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam, Oct. 24, 1967 while on a combat air patrol mission. Clark, who could not be confirmed as having successfully ejected from the aircraft, was carried as missing in action until later changed to presumed killed in action. Jan. 16, 1991 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated 11 boxes of remains to the United States, which confirmed after DNA testing they contained Clark’s remains in 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter/ Released)

150418-N-JY507-062 TACOMA, Wash. (April 18, 2015) – Members of the Navy Region Northwest Honor Guard stand at parade-rest during a funeral service for Lt. j.g. Richard C. Clark at Mountain View Funeral Home Tacoma, Washington April 18. He was shot down over the Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam, Oct. 24, 1967 while on a combat air patrol mission. Clark, who could not be confirmed as having successfully ejected from the aircraft, was carried as missing in action until later changed to presumed killed in action. Jan. 16, 1991 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated 11 boxes of remains to the United States, which confirmed after DNA testing they contained Clark's remains in 2014.  (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter/ Released)

150418-N-JY507-062 TACOMA, Wash. (April 18, 2015) – Members of the Navy Region Northwest Honor Guard stand at parade-rest during a funeral service for Lt. j.g. Richard C. Clark at Mountain View Funeral Home Tacoma, Washington April 18. He was shot down over the Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam, Oct. 24, 1967 while on a combat air patrol mission. Clark, who could not be confirmed as having successfully ejected from the aircraft, was carried as missing in action until later changed to presumed killed in action. Jan. 16, 1991 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated 11 boxes of remains to the United States, which confirmed after DNA testing they contained Clark’s remains in 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter/ Released)

150418-N-JY507-065 TACOMA, Wash. (April 18, 2015) – Members of the Navy Region Northwest Honor Guard stand at parade-rest during a funeral service for Lt. j.g. Richard C. Clark at Mountain View Funeral Home Tacoma, Washington April 18. He was shot down over the Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam, Oct. 24, 1967 while on a combat air patrol mission. Clark, who could not be confirmed as having successfully ejected from the aircraft, was carried as missing in action until later changed to presumed killed in action. Jan. 16, 1991 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated 11 boxes of remains to the United States, which confirmed after DNA testing they contained Clark's remains in 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter/ Released)

150418-N-JY507-065 TACOMA, Wash. (April 18, 2015) – Members of the Navy Region Northwest Honor Guard stand at parade-rest during a funeral service for Lt. j.g. Richard C. Clark at Mountain View Funeral Home Tacoma, Washington April 18. He was shot down over the Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam, Oct. 24, 1967 while on a combat air patrol mission. Clark, who could not be confirmed as having successfully ejected from the aircraft, was carried as missing in action until later changed to presumed killed in action. Jan. 16, 1991 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated 11 boxes of remains to the United States, which confirmed after DNA testing they contained Clark’s remains in 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter/ Released)

150418-N-JY507-038 TACOMA, Wash. (April 18, 2015) – Martin Hoffman, a member of Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club Tacoma Chapter, from Port Orchard, Wash., presents a bracelet with Lt. j.g. Richard C. Clark’s MIA date to Marie Gleason, the sister of Clark, at Mountain View Funeral Home Tacoma, Washington April 18. He was shot down over the Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam, Oct. 24, 1967 while on a combat air patrol mission. Clark, who could not be confirmed as having successfully ejected from the aircraft, was carried as missing in action until later changed to presumed killed in action. Jan. 16, 1991 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated 11 boxes of remains to the United States, which confirmed after DNA testing they contained Clark's remains in 2014.    (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter/ Released)

150418-N-JY507-038 TACOMA, Wash. (April 18, 2015) – Martin Hoffman, a member of Vietnam Vets/Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club Tacoma Chapter, from Port Orchard, Wash., presents a bracelet with Lt. j.g. Richard C. Clark’s MIA date to Marie Gleason, the sister of Clark, at Mountain View Funeral Home Tacoma, Washington April 18. He was shot down over the Vinh Phuc Province, Vietnam, Oct. 24, 1967 while on a combat air patrol mission. Clark, who could not be confirmed as having successfully ejected from the aircraft, was carried as missing in action until later changed to presumed killed in action. Jan. 16, 1991 the Socialist Republic of Vietnam repatriated 11 boxes of remains to the United States, which confirmed after DNA testing they contained Clark’s remains in 2014. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Seth Coulter/ Released)

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s