Two soldiers, killed 61 years apart, return home

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by CYNTHIA VEGA & STEVE STOLER

WFAA

Posted on November 10, 2011 at 3:24 PM

Updated Thursday, Nov 10 at 6:54 PM

DALLAS - Two soldiers, their service seperated by 61 years. Thursday, linked by their final trip home.

Both men were honored by their loved ones at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport.

A special military flight carrying the body of Army 1st Lt. Dustin Vincent arrived at D/FW just after 2 p.m. on Thursday.
   
Vincent is the first soldier killed in combat since the president announced a troop pull-out from Iraq. He was just six months into his deployment when the enemy threw a deadly grenade at his convoy.
   
Vincent leaves behind a wife, Samantha, his high school sweetheart. The two had re-connected and married two days before his deployment. He'd even adopted Samantha's daughter.
    
One month before Vincent was scheduled to return from Iraq, he is arriving home, instead, a fallen hero.

"If I had a choice to let him go or not to go, I think I still would have let him go, because I knew he wanted to," said Marty Vincent, the soldier's mother.

In an exclusive interview with News 8 Sunday, Mrs. Vincent showed us a bible he left behind for her.

"This bible was sitting on the table since Justin left," she said.

Earlier Thursday, another jet brought home a fallen soldier from the Korean War.

Sgt. 1st Class Benny Don Rogers was left to die deep in enemy territory in the Battle of Unsan in 1950.

His remains were found ten years ago. In March, military officials identified his remains using DNA.

"I think the most important part to the family is to find a burial spot next to his brother and sister," said Rogers' niece.

Two soldier, 61 years apart, coming home for the last time.
     
A special procession will carry Lt. Vincent's body to the Jeter and Son Funeral Home in Dallas. Visitation is Friday from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. His funeral service is Saturday before Vincent is laid to rest at the DFW National Cemetery.

E-mail cvega@wfaa.com

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