PALMER, GRUNDY COUNTY (WRCB) -- "He's glad to be home," said James Phillips. Phillips and his family waited more than four decades for the opportunity to lay his brother, Specialist 4 Marvin Foster Phillips, to rest.
"We have that missing piece," said sister Mary Ruth." After all these years we now have that piece back."
Phillips went missing on September 26, 1966 after his helicopter was gunned down by enemy fire off the coast of South Vietnam. It was a mission he volunteered for after another door gunner never showed up.
"He died in another person's place," said Lucy West, Phillips' sister.
Phillips' body was never found until a few months ago when the military positively identified his remains.
On Monday, 45 years to the day after Phillips went missing, hundreds of Grundy County citizens packed the Grundy County High School gym to welcome the fallen hero home and say their final farewells.
Honored like a true American hero, Phillips was laid to rest next to his parents in the Palmer Cemetery after a 10-mile parade ended at his final resting place.