Fallen WWII veteran returned to Texoma

Updated: Mar. 11, 2020 at 10:50 PM CDT
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BOWIE, Texas (TNN) - A homecoming 79 years in the making: a World War II veteran who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor and whose remains were only recently identified has made it back to Texoma.

An emotional morning, all for a family member once thought to never return. On Wednesday morning, they welcomed Bethel Walters home.

“We’re representing him but he’s representing everybody else so we are going to be a part of his celebration,” said Patrick Walters, Bethel’s nephew.

“That American flag just means everything to me,” said Barbara Riley, Bethel’s niece. “When I would see it flying, I would think of Uncle Bethel and actually all the kids who have to do without their parents while they’re gone and fighting for our country. I would think about that too and would just love seeing the American flag waving.”

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity but it’s going to be really memorable and I get to share it with my whole family so I’m excited," Addison Walters, Bethel’s great great niece.

Now reunited, the Walters family makes their way from Dallas to Bowie.

“It brings all the family together because I finally get to see my great great uncle Bethel home once more,” said Christian Walters, Bethel’s great great niece.

“I’ve also learned a lot about a big part of America’s history in the past month than I’ve probably ever have in the past years,” Addison said.

Escorted by the Patriot Guard, Bethel and his family didn’t make the final journey home alone.

The entire time, crowds full of families, veterans and first responders gathered to honor the fallen sailor.

Bethel Walters will be laid to rest in Bowie at the Elmwood Cemetery on Saturday morning. It starts at 10 a.m. and the service is open if you would like to attend.

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