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James Holt

WASHINGTON — After 47 years the remains of Master Sergeant James Holt came home from Vietnam this week — met by his widow, Linda, his two daughters and other family members.

“I thank God Almighty he’s finally home,” said Linda.

There was a military honor guard, as you might expect, but no one expected a spontaneous honor guard of police officer.

“It was quite amazing,” said Linda.

Thanks to cell phones and social media, everybody can now see those police officers lined up. They just happened to be at Washington’s National Airport greeting family members of fallen police officers arriving for an annual dinner when they heard a fallen soldier was coming home.

Holt was a Green Beret at a remote outpost called Long Vei overrun by the North Vietnamese army in 1968. Dennis Thompson was there too and he came to be with the family for their final farewell. He was the last man to see Holt alive.

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James Holt

“The last time I saw Jim, he was, appeared to be trapped in the medical bunker,” said Thomson. “I think he was shot to death at the entrance of that medical bunker.”

Holt’s body was never found but this past December new DNA techniques identified pieces of human bone as his. Those remains were buried Thursday at Arlington National Cemetery.

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James Holt

It took James Holt a long time to come home but when he finally did, he chose the perfect moment.

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