Here’s a great story to begin the new year. The family of Andy Howes has acknowledged that remains held by the Army are his. The remains were in one of 23 boxes given to the United States by the Socialist Republic of Vietnam in 1988.
There is no evidence where they came from.
At the time the remains were turned over to the government, there was no way of determining who they belonged to. DNA sequencing was not perfected until 2007 and 2008.
It was recently determined that DNA supplied by Andy’s brother, Rob, positively proved to be a match. To date, there are no burial plans or when the family will receive the remains.
My sister-in-law, Nancy (Wright) Montgomery, was a classmate of Andy Howes (Class of 1968). She and a group of friends were with Andy the night before he left for Vietnam. Nancy remembered asking him if he was afraid and he said, “No, I’ve been trained and I look forward to serving.”
When I told her the news she reacted much the same as those of you reading this now. If you knew Andy, just give a little prayer of thanks that there is finally an end to the story that has perplexed friends and family for so many years.