41 years later, Chuck Scharf's remains were identified via DNA samples taken from the envelopes of Love letters he had written to his wife, Patricia Scharf.
Patricia, who never remarried, flew out to Hawaii and brought her husband's remains home for burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
On NBC field notes, John Rutherford, a Vietnam Vet, interviews Patricia. "As we were landing, the flight attendant said to the passengers, 'Ladies and gentlemen, last night we picked up a very special passenger from Hawaii. His name was Colonel Charles J. Scharf. He was shot down October 1st of 1965, and he was missing in action for 41 years. We are honored to bring him back home to his native America. God bless him and God bless his family.'"
The passengers broke into applause - and some tears - and Patricia stood up to thank them. Patricia is now 74 years old. Colonel Scharf's remains were placed at Arlington Cemetary."
The entire story can be read here:
*John Rutherford is an NBC News Producer based out of the Washington, D.C. bureau and is a decorated Vietnam veteran. He also posts stories on the military at www.dailynightly.msnbc.com (click on "John Rutherford" under "categories").
Field Notes is featured on Latte's Best of Blogs list.
*Administrator's note: My dad served in Vietnam during the same era as Col. Scharf. During my father's last year of service, 5 dads were shot down in North Vietnam just from our block alone. (We lived on a AFB).
It's good to know that our government is doing everything it can to bring MIA's home.