LEBANON, Ore. — A Lebanon airman was finally laid to rest Friday after being killed in action in 1965.
Chief Master Sergeant Arden Hassenger’s remains were found in March near Laos.
Family and friends gathered in Lebanon to finally bury Hassenger after it took him nearly 47 years to come home.
Hassenger’s gravestone has been at a cemetery there for decades, but there’s always been a piece missing.
And on June 8, 2012, the puzzle of the missing Vietnam War veteran was finally solved.
“I said he walked awful slow to come home,” said his sister Marcheta Sobania.
Hassenger was killed at 29 years old in a plane crash over Laos on Christmas Eve 1965. The airman was reported missing in action and then killed in action years later. His body was never recovered until an investigation team found his remains in March.
“It’s hard to have this as a final thing, but after 46, 46 and a half years, it’s over time,” Sobania said.
A crowd filled the Lebanon Odd Fellows Cemetery with Hassenger’s family and friends along with fellow vets. It meant all the world to his wife Sherrie whom he left behind.
“It’s been a beautiful day even though it rained,” she said.
As the memories of her late husband come flooding back, Sherrie–now 73–says her husband’s homecoming doesn’t necessarily mean closure.
“He was very sweet, very loving, very honest, and everything he ever did was done perfect,” she said.
Hassenger is survived by his wife, three children, six grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.