ARLINGTON, VA – Thirty-nine years to the day from when he disappeared in Vietnam, Colorado’s Maj. Perry Henry Jefferson today received a burial with full military honors.
Family, a contingent of Vietnam veterans and retired members of Colorado’s Air National Guard 120th Fighter Squadron commemorated Jefferson under a leaden sky with a cold wind whipping.
More than a dozen veterans clad in leather jackets rode motorcycles to the service.
“Maj. Jefferson honored the flag,” said Chaplain Col. Ret. Victor Hoops, who served with Jefferson 39 years ago.
Jefferson was the last member of the 120th Fighter Squadron missing in action in Vietnam.
His remains were turned over to U.S. officials nine years ago by a Vietnamese national living in California, who reported that his mother had brought them with her when she immigrated to the United States.
An honor guard member stands by the casket of Maj. Perry Jefferson as mourners gather around at the end of burial services at Arlington National Cemetery on Thursday, April 3, 2008 in Arlington, Va. (AP | Kevin Wolf)
Jefferson’s grave lies a few feet from one with multiple soldiers killed in World War II. Next to Jefferson’s grave is that of a man killed in Iraq in June 2007.