Texas family veterinarian continues 50 years after his death

A Fort Worth Texas family finally made the long-awaited answers after the loss of a loved one in Vietnam, 50 years ago.

Air force Captain Robert Russell Barnett was shot down over Laos in 1966. His body was never found until now.

Debra Coffey of Fort Worth was 9 years old when her father died. She grew up in the knowledge that he was killed in action, but not much else.

On Friday, the air force a meeting with Coffey’s family in San Antonio and detailed how the recovered and identified her father’s remains so they could finally give him a full funeral.

In the nearly four-hour meeting, Coffey said the air force described the efforts for the search of a crash site the size of three football fields.

“They found the tail number of the B57 so it absolutely was his plane. It was absolutely that the crash site,” she explained. “And they took us through a huge inventory of the things they found.”

The inventory included pieces of glass from the plane, the co-pilot dog tag and a tooth. It was compared with Air Force medical information and confirmed to belong to Captain Barnett.

“They worked so hard and so long for us to bring closure and bring this back to our family with dignity,” she said.


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