One of the most undesirable step-children spawned by war is the grief and sadness thrust upon the survivors of those who die in war. That is one of the major reasons nations should only go to war as an ultimate last resort. They bring too much sadness and heartache. The great Confederate battlefield commander, Stonewall Jackson said you should only to war as a last resort and if you must go to war you must draw the sword and throw away the scabbard meanly it is a deadly business.
One of those sad stories of the loss of a loved one is featured in this podcast episode. It comes from an article in the Daily Commercial of Leesburg, Florida titled: A sister’s prayer answered after nearly 48 years by Theresa Campbell. I was first attracted to this story because it came from Leesburg, Florida, the town in which I first saw the light of day. I was born there. Another attraction from the story was its primary theme about a former member of the 5th Special Forces Group who was killed in Laos. When I was a Cobra gunship pilot with the 101st Airborne Division in Vietnam we used to fly CCN missions in support of the SOG when they conducted missions in “secret” places.
The story tells about how Judi Boyer Bouchard, a resident of Leesburg, received an answer to her prayers. It happened when she received confirmation as a result of DNA testing of the identification of the remains of her long lost brother Alan L. Boyer. He disappeared in action in Laos on March 28, 1968, during the Vietnam War. She had made it a lifelong mission to close the book on her brother’s fate. Along with her mother she went to Laos in 2001 searching for answers to no avail. His remains were finally identified when they were turned in by Laotian “bone trader.” Those remains will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery on June 22.