BRIDGETON, MO (KTVI)- Nearly 45 years after his helicopter went down in Cambodia during the Vietnam War, the body of a mid-Missouri soldier is finally returning home today. The remains of Sergeant Rodney Griffin are scheduled to arrive at Lambert Airport around 10:30a.m. They will then be escorted back to the Mexico and Centralia areas of Missouri where Griffin grew up and where his services will take place. He was 21-years-old when the helicopter he was on crashed near the Cambodia- Vietnam border on May 2, 1970. Griffin was declared dead in 1974, about a year after American Prisoners of War were released from Vietnam.
His family members were notified in February that his remains were found in a grave near the crash site. They were positively identified through DNA that his family had given to officials years ago when they thought another set of remains might have been Griffin`s.
Griffin graduated from Centralia High School in 1968.
Visitation will be held there for him on Saturday April, 25th at 9a.m. Funeral services will begin at 10:30a.m. There will then be a private graveside service in Mexico as well.
Griffin will be buried next to his family members.
Volunteers are being asked to help lay flags on Highway 22 from Centralia to Mexico for the processional of Sergeant Griffin. Those participating are being asked to meet at Centralia High School Friday April, 24th at 3:30p.m.
Sgt Griffin was initially listed as MIA then declared dead in 1974. His remains were found/identified in February. pic.twitter.com/bkfkIjz08L
— Chris Regnier (@chrisregniertv) April 23, 2015