WKVI has learned some of the details of the services for Chief Warrant Officer Andy Howes, a Knox native whose remains are being transported from Hawaii to Indianapolis on Monday. He was lost 41 years ago in a helicopter crash in Vietnam, and although his remains were sent to Hawaii in 1988, they were only recently identified through DNA analysis.
Services will be held in Knox on Tuesday, and then the body will be sent to its final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery on August 5th. Services are scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Tuesday night, with calling after 5:00 p.m. at the Knox Community Center.
Pat McGrath is one of the six pall bearers who will have the honor of helping carry the casket into and out of the ceremony. Pat McGrath lives in Michigan City, and was himself a Vietnam war veteran.
“I grew up in Knox and I went to school with Andy,” said McGrath. “I was a year older. I wouldn’t say we were best friends, but we were definitely friends and I never thought this day would come.”
McGrath talked about the hollow feeling of knowing that an American and one from Starke County was left behind on the field of battle.
“That was definitely a real shock. There were others that died in Vietnam from Knox and one of my best friends at the time was Bob Hanselman. There were others also. To have someone come back after missing for 41 years is pretty amazing.”
McGrath talked about hearing that Andy had been found, and about the Andy Howes MIA bracelet he wears on his right wrist.
“It was disbelief and I’ve had Andy’s bracelet for a little longer than 25 years. I will be placing the bracelet into Andy’s casket I think it’s only fitting. I don’t know what I’d do with it after this.”
The body will be transported to Knox with a Patriot Guard escort on Monday and it should arrive in Knox between 5:00 and 6:00 p.m. You are encouraged to welcome him home when the procession comes up U.S. 35.
We will keep you informed when the Guard, Knox City Police cruiser, and Starke County Sheriff’s car are arriving. Knox Mayor Rick Chambers has ordered that the flags be lowered to half staff from sunrise on Monday, August 1st until Friday, August 5th at sunset.