Vietnam Soldier MIA, Finally Laid to Rest 39 Years Later

Saturday, August 21st 2010, 10:07 pm
By: News On 6

By Lacie Lowry, The News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- A Green Country family finally gets to say goodbye to their loved one after 39 years of waiting.

Army Chief Warrant Officer Donald Wann went missing in action during the Vietnam War, but finally on Saturday the Muskogee soldier was laid to rest.

Wann had joined the Army so he could fly helicopters in Vietnam, and that's exactly what he died doing. Wann's helicopter was shot down during a rescue mission on June 1, 1971. His body never found.

"I was proud to know Don, and I was just crushed the day I heard he had been shot down," said Rod Bailey, Wann's Instructor Pilot.

Decades later, an American search team finally located his remains.

08/18/2010 Related Story: 39 Years Later, Army Officer Donald Wann's Remains Return To Oklahoma

"He saved my bacon many a time over there as a gunship pilot. He was the guy that was making sure that I was safe when I was down in those holes," said Terry Kaufman, fellow soldier. "So he cared about us and we care about him."

"He was the go-to guy and when you start to think about it, he still is. We know where he's at, we know he's home and we know we are going to see him again," said Wayne Twiehaus, fellow soldier

Wann's wife and daughters never gave up hope on finding him and giving him a proper burial. His girls, Shannon and Michelle, were his life.

"On behalf of all the crew members we have here from the 128th, we just wanted to say how delighted we are that you have your daddy home," said Jay Riseden, Wann's roommate.

Home at last and closure at last for his family.

Wann was buried with full military honors. His final resting place will be at the Ft. Gibson National Cemetery.