American Hero Finally Laid To Rest
KREX News Room
MONTROSE, Colo.- After 44 years, an American hero has finally been laid to rest. Robert Elwood Bennett was killed in Vietnam in 1967. His remains were finally found four decades later.
“You know, you have a lot of adrenaline doing all these things that are supposedly fun, but the reality of it is, war is not fun,” said Bill Sakahara, a retired colonel for the U.S. Air Force. Sakahara was with Bennett during his last few moments alive.
“I feel tearful, happy and sad,” said Shannon Wilson, Bennett's widow.
His family and friends finally got closure on Saturday.
“I’ve lived with Woody for 45 years and he will always be with me,” said Sakahara.
“We met in Hawaii in October. Then in December, he was killed,” said Wilson.
“The aircraft went to violently uncontrolled. I knew that if we delayed any further we would probably not make it. And so I told Woody to eject,” said Sakahara.
Sakahara is not exactly sure why, but Bennett did not survive. He said, “That will be a question in my mind all my life.”
His remains were not found until recently. “It means closure. It means a lot more than just that. It means the return of somebody that we never expected,” said Bill Bennett, a cousin.
Family members, friends and those who didn’t even know Bennett were finally able to welcome him home.
“His mother always hoped that he’d come, and guess what? He did. It’s great to come back to a town like Montrose. The people are so friendly, so patriotic,” said Bill.
“He was fun and he was smart,” said Wilson.
One more American hero has finally been laid to rest in the country he died fighting for.