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Centralia Soldier's Remains Return Home 45 Years After His Death

Centralia will finally bury a fallen soldier tomorrow 45 years after he died. Rodney Griffin was killed more than four decades ago when his Army helicopter crashed in Cambodia during the Vietnam War. 

The remains of Rodney Griffin arrived Thursday morning at St. Louis' Lambert International Airport. Patriot Guard motorcyclists led the hearse back to Griffin's hometown of Centralia. Griffin was 21 in 1970 when his helicopter was shot down.

In February, Griffin's relatives were told his remains had been found in a grave near the crash site, where two other men killed in the crash also were identified. Rodney’s sister in law Doris Griffin told KBIA she is one of his last relatives still alive to see him return home. Rodney’s parents and brother had passed away while his remains were still missing.

A funeral for Griffin will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Centralia High School, from which Griffin graduated in 1968.

Hope Kirwan left KBIA in September 2015.
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