Episode 2763 – The inspiring story of Sharon Rusch, daughter of a Vietnam War MIA

Capt. Stephen A. Rusch, vietnam veteran news, mack payne

Capt. Stephen A. Rusch holding his daughter, Sharon Rusch. He was an F-4E Phantom pilot during the Vietnam War, who was shot down in southern Laos and considered missing in action. His remains were identified in 2007 and laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery, Va.

Episode 2763 of the Vietnam Veteran News Podcast will feature a story about the inspiring story of Sharon Rusch, the daughter of a Vietnam War MIA. The featured story comes from The U.S. Air Force website and was titled: Echoes of Vietnam: An Air Force family legacy. It was submitted By Bryce Baswell, Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs

Sharon Rusch was three days from her sixth birthday when a knock came at the door. She says she does not remember the Air Force officers from casualty affairs speaking with her mother. She does, however, remember the birthday card, the last message she would ever receive from her father.

Stephen A. Rusch enlisted in the Air Force and later commissioned as an Air Force weapons systems officer flying with an F-4E Phantom squadron during the Vietnam War. On the morning of March 7, 1972, his two-ship formation was flying a classified mission over the jungles of southern Laos when it was cleared to engage enemy trucks on the ground. On the second pass, the flight lead lost sight of his aircraft.

Three days of aerial searches by the Air Force yielded nothing, and Rusch’s status was changed to missing in action. Finding out the details of what happened to her father and coming to terms with it has been a lifelong journey for Sharon and her family.

Maj. Gen. Sharon Bannister, Vietnam Veteran News, Mack Payne

Maj. Gen. Sharon Bannister, daughter of Air Force MIA Stephen A. Rusch

Sharon Rusch is now Maj. Gen. Sharon Bannister, a two-star general officer, mother of two and wife to a retired Army colonel. She currently serves as the director of medical operations in the Office of the Surgeon General in the Pentagon, close enough to walk to Arlington National Cemetery and just across the Potomac River from “The Wall” at the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial, where she frequently volunteers. On March 29, she accompanied Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall to The Wall to conduct a commemorative paper rubbing of the engraving of her father’s name, as well as other names.

Listen to episode 2763 and discover more about the inspiring story of Sharon Rusch, the daughter of a Vietnam War MIA.

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