Vietnam hero buried at Arlington National Cemetery, a half century after being missing in action

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ARLINGTON (Gray DC) -- A Vietnam war hero who was missing in action - finally laid to rest Friday.

After more than half a century apart, he’s reunited with his family from Waco. Our Washington Reporter Alana Austin takes us to Arlington National Cemetery.

“It’s like a fairy tale come true," explained Corda Hestle, daughter of Col. Roosevelt Hestle.

A homecoming fit for a hero...

Dozens gathered at Arlington National Cemetery Friday for a ceremony for Hestle, with full military honors.

“I always prayed to God that he would come back home," said his brother, Alfred 'Al' Hestle.

More than 50 years after Hestle’s plane was shot down in the Vietnam war, his family can finally say goodbye.

“I kept asking the question where’s daddy? Where’s daddy?” said Corda.

Hestle's daughter, Corda, was 12 when he went missing. Recently, a Vietnamese farmer came across bones and other debris. After running tests, the US military said Hestle was among the remains.

Corda’s mother - Constance - passed away after learning her husband would finally be coming home. Now, they’re back together, buried side by side.

“You get tongue-tied trying to express your emotion when you see this, but it’s a happy thing," said Corda.

A hope that endured. A love that never died.

“Welcome home, Hes, welcome home," said Al.

Al says his brother pushed him to become a pilot too in the Air Force.

“He would always tell me as his brother always plan your work and work your plan," said Al.

Corda says family members who lost touch were brought together again - all because of her father.

And with so many family members reconnected, Corda looks forward to the next reunion in 2019. Relatives are looking forward to meeting up in Eureka, California next year.

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