Weekend memorial set for fallen soldier coming home after 45 years
MEXICO - 45 years after Sgt. Rodney Griffin's helicopter was shot down in Cambodia during the Vietnam War, his community will remember him Saturday. Thursday, his remains made it back to his hometown for the first time since then.
Griffin's body arrived at Lambert Airport in St. Louis and was escorted to a Centralia funeral home. Doris Griffin, Griffin's sister-in-law, said the support along the route back to Centralia was incredible.
"People were standing along side of the road,they were out on their front porches, they were standing outside their lawn mower with their hat over their heart. They were just, everyone stopped what they were doing, to honor him," she said.
Sgt. Griffin was 21-years old when he first went missing in Cambodia.
Griffin's family was first notified in February that his remains were found in a grave near the original crash site.
Griffin graduated from Centralia High School in 1968. Visitation will be held there for him on Saturday April, 25 at 9a.m. Funeral services will begin at 10:30 a.m.
There will then be a private graveside service in Mexico as well. Griffin will be buried next to family members.
Doris Griffin said that she has heard of people coming from all over the country to respect Rodney, including some people that never knew him.
The Rodney Griffin Memorial Fund has raised $1,500 to support the family during this time.