MADISON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18)– A local group who honors military members who never returned from war is commemorating a Madison County man who has been missing in action for decades.
Nita Byrd tells LEX 18 that it has been 50 years that she has been without her older brother, Captain Hugh McNeil Byrd.
Captain Mac was a soldier fighting in the Vietnam War until January 9, 1969, when the plane he was flying went down.
“Last transmission was about 8:35 p.m. that night and all the efforts and results of trying to locate him afterwards and the next morning came up empty-handed,” said Todd Matonich with Rolling Thunder Ky Chapter 5.
“The military has done an excavation of the crash site two different times. They found items, but no physical remains,” said Nita Byrd.
To commemorate the 50th anniversary, Rolling Thunder Kentucky Chapter 5 will hold a wreath-laying ceremony at Captain Mac’s marker in the Berea cemetery this weekend.
“I don’t see this as a sad occasion. I see this as a time to celebrate the fact that my parents and brother and I lived in Berea and people loved and cared for them,” said Byrd.
Byrd will make the trip from Virginia and Rolling Thunder is asking the community to come out and support her.
“The Vietnam era, they didn’t get a very good welcome home, for the ones that did come home, and for the ones that were left behind MIA-POW, it’s important for us to remember them,” said Matonich.
“Anyone is welcome to come whether they knew Mac or not. If they just want to honor the sacrifice that people made during that unfortunate war,” said Byrd.
The ceremony will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Berea Cemetery.