MIA Vietnam Veteran Laid to Rest Nearly 40 Years Later

Veterans pay tribute to Air Force Captain David Phillips.
Veterans pay tribute to Air Force Captain David Phillips.

As most of us are celebrating this July 4th weekend, it's important to remember those who lost their lives defending this country. On Sunday, the remains of a Vietnam veteran who was shot down almost 40 years ago have been laid to rest at Bonaventure Cemetery.

It's a war story four decades in the making. Now, the family of Captain David Phillips finally has closure.

"We know he's home. This is what we've been waiting for, for so long," said daughter Davida Stubbs.

Captain Phillips was killed on his first day of his first tour of duty when his plane was shot down in Vietnam back in 1966. His remains were found by a villager who buried him on his farm. For years, he tried to return the remains of Captain Phillips to his family. Now, 40 years later, this Vietnam veteran can rest in peace.

On Sunday, dozens of family, friends and fellow Vietnam veterans came to pay their respects to the man just one month ago many weren't sure was dead or alive.

"We have brothers left in Vietnam. We still have brothers in Korea and its only right that these people who give their life are brought back to America", said James Gilmer of the Vietnam Veterans of America.

"A lot of people I don't know came to show my dad respect. It is a good day," Stubbs said, crying.

Davida Stubbs was named after the father she never met; however, she says that still doesn't make this day any easier.

"He's home. I touched him. I touched the blanket he was in. That's all I have," she said. "I'm glad we could share it with everybody."

The Department of Defense says more than 1,800 Americans are still unaccounted for from the Vietnam War.

Reported by: Hena Daniels, hdaniels@wtoc.com