Updated 07/03/2012 10:25 PM
Remains of Local Airman MIA in Vietnam Identified
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It's an emotional ending to a story that began 46 years ago.
"I'm happy that we have an answer. I'm sad because, I know what happened to my father," said Jeff Christiano.
Jeff's father, Joseph, went missing in action during the Vietnam War, on Christmas Eve in 1965. Jeff says he was on a training mission in Laos teaching new recruits to fly.
"They flew into a heavily jungled area. The plane was shot down," he said.
Search attempts were unsuccessful. And after years of having no closure, good news came to the Christiano family on Good Friday.
"The tooth of one of his crew members was found at the crash site positively identifying him. And all the human remains that were found at the crash site led the government to believe through extensive research. They didn't just come up with this conclusion haphazardly, that this is in fact the crash site and at the crash site nobody could have survived," said Jeff.
He says his father's remains were not able to be positively identified, still his family is satisfied with the government's findings. And although he was only two-years-old at the time his father went missing, Jeff has a lasting memory of a hero.
"One of the comments that he made was few people get called and know that they may have to sacrifice," Jeff said referring to a letter his father had written.
"And I believe he knew he wasn't coming back and he still did it."
Next Monday, just five days after the 4th of July, Jeff and his family will be able to honor their father, as his remains will be buried with his crew at Arlington National Cemetery.
"This is going to be that moment for my father," said Jeff.
A patriotic moment his family will never forget.
"My family doesn't think of it as, this is the holiday to recognize our country and fly our flag, we wear our flag on our heart every day," said Jeff.