Family waiting for killed soldier lost in Iraq gets hopeful news

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by JIM DOUGLAS

Bio | Email | Follow: @wfaajdouglas

WFAA

Posted on March 1, 2012 at 10:04 PM

A North Texas family has new hope Thursday that their son's remains will someday be brought home from Iraq.

After a News 8 report, the Pentagon agreed to renew the search for Major Troy Gilbert. This week, his family got even more encouragement, with news Iraqi insurgents just turned over the remains of another American.

Gilbert's F-16 went down near Baghdad in 2006 as he protected American ground forces. Insurgents took his body and later used it in videos.

The case is similar to what happened to Army Staff Sergeant Ahmed al-Taie. He was kidnapped in 2006, videotaped and killed.

An Iraqi official said today extremists finally returned al-Taie's remains just last week. Major Gilbert's widow hopes the same will happen for her and the couple's five children.

"Whoever knows over there, and there's somebody that knows - more than one somebody that knows, I pray their heart will be moved," Ginger Gilbert said.

In the meantime, defense department officials emphasized progress in finding soldiers missing from all conflicts since World War II.

"When I was six months old, he was holding me in his arms, then took off for overseas," Wally Helton said. "When I was 11 months old, he was shot down in a bombing run."

Helton lost his dad over North Korea, which recently gave the U.S. permission to search for MIA's starting later this year.

They are just part of an enormous challenge. The still unaccounted for from World War II onward is 83,000, according to officials.

Eighty-three thousand, plus Major Troy Gilbert.

E-mail jdouglas@wfaa.com

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