After recovering a good DNA sample from the remains of the Vietnam veteran exhumed from the Tomb of the Unknowns, scientists are testing to see if it is a genetic match of a family who believes a relative was buried in the monument.
The mother of downed Air Force 1st Lt. Michael J. Blassie said she is still convinced her son was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery 14 years ago."We're waiting and preparing for him to come home," Jean Blassie said Thursday after the Pentagon announced a good DNA sample had been recovered.
With the first scientific hurdle overcome, the Pentagon said the military is hoping to determine if the DNA sample matches the genetic material from Blassie's family or from relatives of eight other servicemen who, like Blassie, went down in airplanes or helicopters around the same time in 1972 in the war zone where the remains were found.
"I believe we did get a good sample, which puts us in a good position now to start matching," Pentagon spokesman Ken Bacon said.
Bacon said the success retrieving DNA gives the Pentagon more confidence it can solve the mystery of who was buried in the Tomb, which also holds remains of unidentified soldiers from World War I, World War II and the Korean conflict.