Soldier's Remains Identified, Returning Home After 41 Years
On November 3rd 1969 Sergeant First Class Donald Shue, assigned to the 5th Special Forces Group, was part of a reconnaissance patrol that was on a mission some 30 miles inside Laos. The patrol was attacked and overrun by enemy forces on a remote hilltop. The reconnaissance team retreated, however Shue and two others were injured in the attack and presumed killed. Donald Shue has been listed as "Killed in Action/Body Not Recovered" since the attack.
Forty years later a local farmer found human remains near the hilltop and notified the Vietnamese government. Although the hilltop was technically located in Laos, border realignments now place the hilltop in Vietnam's Quang Tri Provenance. A joint U.S.-Vietnamese team excavated the hilltop, recovering the remains of Donald M. Shue, Staff Sergeant Gunther H. of New Jersey and Staff Sergeant William T. Brown of California. Along with Shue's remains, his Zippo lighter with his name engraved on it was also found.
Donald Shue was from Kannapolis North Carolina and will be buried with his parents and brothers in Concord, NC on May 1st. The Rolling Thunder motorcycle group will participate in escorting family and the procession.
Some forty years later our nation and its citizens express sincere gratitude for the sacrifice of Donald Shue, and closure has finally come for family and friends.
It is a sad irony that Donald Shue had to wait over 40 years to receive an earned and deserved welcome home. His return home is in a way, a symbolic representation for all of the Vietnam fallen who have previously returned home, but without the gratitude and thankfulness of the citizens of the nation.
While Donald Shue gave the ultimate sacrifice forty years ago, his return home today has served as a reminder for some, an education for others, of how our military serve not only today, but yesterday and tomorrow, and that they should not be forgotten, regardless of when the service and sacrifice was performed.
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