INDIANAPOLIS — The body of a soldier who was killed in Vietnam returned home Thursday after more than 50 years.
The Indiana National Guard received the body of Army 1st Lt. Alan Jensen Bardach Thursday evening in a ceremony at Indianapolis International Airport. Bardach's remains were recently repatriated from Vietnam.
One of Bardach's siblings said his family feels a sense of closure by finally getting to say goodbye.
"The whole thing was stirring and that opportunity at the last moment for each of us to come to our brother's casket," Neil Bardach said. "It impacted each of us in a different way, but that's a moment that not one of us wanted miss."
According to POW MIA Council of Indianapolis, Bardach was reported missing in a helicopter crash near Dong Ha on January 8, 1968 — just five weeks after he began service in Vietnam.
Bardach was officially listed as dead on June 8, 1968.
Bardach is believed to have graduated from Shortridge High School in 1961, and then from Purdue University in 1966.
A closed ceremony will take place planeside for Bardach at the Indianapolis International Airport. Graveside services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday at Crown Hill Cemetery.