Veteran of the Day graphic created by Michael Blassie for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
Today’s #VeteranOfTheDay is Air Force Veteran Michael Blassie. Michael served during the War in Vietnam.
Michael graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1970 and after completing Undergraduate Pilot Training, was assigned as an A-37 Dragonfly pilot with the 8th Special Operations Squadron. In 1972, Michael was deployed with the 8th Special Operations Squadron to Southeast Asia.
Michael was killed in action on May 11, 1972, when his A-37B Dragonfly was shot down near An Loc, Vietnam. Five months after being shot down, Michaels remains were recovered. Despite strong indications that the remains recovered belonged to Michael, a positive identification could not be made. As a result, his remains went on to be designated as the unknown service member of the Vietnam War and were interred in the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery on May 28, 1984.
On June 30, 1998, advances in DNA testing allowed Michael’s remains to be positively identified. He was then returned to his family in Saint Louis, Missouri and reinterred at the Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery.
We honor his service.
Memorial Day Awareness
This month, the VA’s National Cemetery Administration is partnering with Carry the Load, a nonprofit organization that connects Americans to the sacrifices made daily by the U.S. military, Veterans, first responders and their families to commemorate the “Memorial May” awareness campaign. The VA will share the stories of service members and Veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice in “Veteran of the Day” posts leading up to Memorial Day 2019.
Editor: Geoffrey Townsley
Fact checker: Jordan Gossett
Graphic design: Alexandra Craig