Vietnam veteran's remains flown to Houston for burial, 45 years after his death

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Vicente Arenas / KHOU 11 News

Posted on July 14, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Jul 14 at 5:57 PM

HOUSTON—More than 100 veterans gathered at Bush Intercontinental Airport Thursday to welcome home a long-lost brother.

They were there to honor U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. William Patrick Egan, whose remains were finally flown to Houston 45 years after he was killed in action.

"It means a lot to see these guys brought back," Ray Schweiker of the Patriot Guard said.

After a hero’s welcome at the airport, Egan’s remains were escorted by HPD’s honor guard and Patriot Guard riders to the Forest Park West Cemetery in Webster.

Egan was killed while flying a mission over Vietnam in 1966. His remains were found in 2009, but they were not identified until February 2011, when the military matched Egan’s DNA to that of his cousin.

"I was 7 when we lost him, and we have wondered all these years what has happened," Egan’s daughter, Jeri Wismer, said.

Egan’s wife has worn a bracelet bearing her husband’s name ever since he went missing.

"Devastating – even now. I’ve never gotten over it," his widow, Anne Egan, said.

"For us, it’s closure, because we have never been able to grieve, you know, from this loss," Wismer said.

Egan's funeral is set for Saturday.  He'll be buried next to his sister, with full military honors.

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