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Vietnam KIA to be Buried Friday, 51 Years After His Death (04/07/2017)
Contact - Harry Bradley (512) 463-6023
Vietnam Veteran Robert Russell Barnett to be Laid to Rest at the Texas State Cemetery; 51 Years After his Death
AUSTIN, April 7, 2017 --- Fifty-one years after being declared Killed in Action in Laos, the remains of Captain Russell "Bear" Barnett will be laid to rest at the Texas State Cemetery on Friday, April 7, 2017. The funeral will occur at 11 a.m. at the center of the Cemetery next to the Texas Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
According to Carolyn Hodges, Member of the Texas State Cemetery Committee, the Cemetery is proud to have Captain Barnett finally returned to his home state.
"We are honored to have Captain Barnett finally laid to rest here at the Texas State Cemetery," said Hodges. "He was an outstanding Texan who gave his life while serving our country and will be brought home after these many years."
Barnett, a Baylor alumni and letterman football player, graduated in 1956 and joined the Air Force. In 1965, Barnett was ordered to the 8th Bomber Squadron, 6252nd Tactical Fighter Wing, 7th Air Force, Da Nang, Vietnam. He flew several missions in a Martin B-57 Canberra. Barnett was shot down on April 7, 1966 over Laos by Laotian and North Vietnamese fighters. He was declared Killed in Action, Body Not Recovered and a memorial service was held at Fort Sam Houston the same year.
In 2014 and 2015, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, with cooperation of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, conducted three excavations of the crash site. Captain Barnett's remains were identified by dental records. The remains were turned over to the family earlier this year for burial. He will be laid to rest with full military honors including a flyover by T-38 fighters on Friday, April 7, 2017 at 11 a.m.
The Texas State Cemetery is the burial ground for Texas elected officials, public servants and cultural icons. Barnett will be buried at the same Cemetery as Stephen F. Austin, Bob Bullock, Barbara Jordan, John Connally and Eugene Cernan.