Air Force officials handed over the remains of Vietnam War-era Capt. Douglas Ferguson to his family in Lakewood, Wash., for a full military honors burial, announced the service. Ferguson was killed when his F-4D Phantom was shot down over Laos on Dec. 30, 1969, according to a JB Lewis-McChord, Wash., release. After 44 years, members of the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command found the crash site in 2013 and through DNA testing, defense forensic officials positively identified Ferguson and contacted his sister Sue Scott. “I wanted to shout it from the rooftops,” she said. “We’ve been working on this for more than 40 years.” Ferguson’s casket arrived May 1 and his burial took place the following day. “There have been ups and downs over the years for sure,” said Scott. “But the process has allowed me to meet the people who honor our country, not just with their service, but those who continue to give and give. That’s what blows me away.”
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.