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The Reaper
05-21-2004, 20:57
RIP, CPT Musil.

Welcome home.

TR


Miami Herald

May 18, 2004

A Warrior Is Home On 'The Soil He Died For'

Three decades after their father's plane went down in a fireball over Laos,
the children of Capt. Clinton Allen Musil will lay their father to rest.
'He's finally coming home,' said Larry Musil.
By Wanda J. Demarzo
Thirty-three years ago this month, Capt. Clinton Allen Musil's 0V-1A Mohawk
reconnaissance plane exploded in a ball of fire over Savannakhet Province in
Laos.
Musil, who had only two weeks left to go on his second tour of duty, was
officially categorized as MIA. He was 30 years old.
His former wife and three young children never received an accounting of his
remains and could not lay their husband and father to rest.
Until now.
On May 28, just three days before Memorial Day, Musil will receive a
military funeral at Arlington National Cemetery.
His remains will be carried by horse-drawn carriage.
His former wife, of Lighthouse Point, and now-adult children will be handed
a flag symbolic of his sacrifice.
''I was 5 when it happened,'' said Larry Musil, 38, of Jupiter Beach. ``Do I
have great memories of my dad? No, but that's what's hard about war -- the
memories are always with you. We knew there was little chance my dad was
alive, but we held on to hope.''
Growing up, Clinton Allen Jr., a Lighthouse Point psychiatrist known to
friends as Allen; Larry, an architect; and Allison, a Seattle nurse, always
fantasized that one day their father might walk through the doors of their
home, Larry Musil said.
The captain's former wife, Lois Riley, spoke of the recurring nightmare that
Musil had: the one where he died fighting in a war.
'When he left for the first tour, he told me `I'll be back,' '' said Riley,
who had split with Musil but remained friendly with her ex-husband.
'When my husband and I took Capt. Musil to the airport for his second tour,
he pulled my husband aside and said he had a feeling he wasn't coming back.
He told my husband, `Take care of my babies.' ''
Musil, originally from Minneapolis,, was flying in a fixed-wing, propeller
aircraft low over the jungles of Laos.
There were no weapons in the plane. Musil's was one of five planes flying on
a fact-finding mission over a Viet Cong base camp, said Allen Musil.
Musil's best friend was flying above him and saw the aircraft bank to the
right. Then, a burst of flame. Then nothing more.
No parachutes were observed.
The enemy artillery hidden in the foliage below would not allow for a search
and rescue team to try and locate the men and their downed plane, said Allen
Musil.
At that time, the United States was conducting a ''secret war'' in Laos,
said Dr. Ed Schwerin, Florida Atlantic University political science
chairman. ``We were dropping bombs in that area because the North Vietnamese
were hiding out there and running supplies through Laos.''
Musil's remains, along with those of Chief Warrant Officer Jack Brunson,
both assigned to the 131st Aviation Company, 212th Aviation Battalion, 11th
Aviation Group, 1st Aviation Brigade, were recovered during three
excavations in 2001 and 2002.
The United States Department of Defense is responsible for directing the
effort to account for the more than still 88,000 missing in action from all
conflicts. Of these, 1,871 are from the Vietnam War.
It took the U.S. Army Central Identification Laboratory in Hawaii, another
year to positively identify those remains through DNA extracted from bones
found at the site.
The DNA was compared to DNA samples from Musil's brother, Richard. It was a
match.
There was no DNA available for comparisons to Brunson, but the military is
listing him as identified through evidence found at the crash scene:
personal effects, life support equipment and aircraft wreckage.
In late June, the government notified Riley and her children of its
findings.
''My first reaction was relief,'' said Allen Musil. ``This had been with us
for so long. I'd rather know that my dad was dead than think of being a
prisoner of war for 30 years.''
Allen Musil, 39, was just a child when his father left for war.
His memories of his father are dim: He and his dad playing a few games,
taking walks in their California neighborhood. ''I do remember the day a
black sedan drove up to the house and two distinguished military men came to
the door,'' Allen Musil said. ``A few minutes later, I heard my mother
crying.''
After their father's death, the family moved to Tennessee, where Riley's
family lived. When the children were all college age, Riley made the move to
South Florida.
Every year, for the past 20-odd years, Allen, Larry or Allison, traveled to
Washington, D.C., and attended meetings for updates on their father
whereabouts.
They will make a long-awaited journey to Washington in less than two weeks.
''It's a sad, but joyous occasion,'' Larry Musil said. ``We're celebrating
the fact that he's finally coming home. We're celebrating that we can
finally bury him on American soil -- the soil he died fighting for.''

NousDefionsDoc
05-22-2004, 11:04
Well done Eagle and crew.

RIP Sir.

Footmobile
05-22-2004, 11:31
Welcome home Sir...RIP