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The News Editorial: Wow!

 

July 22, 2021



What a Monday in the Big Horn Basin and especially Worland.

The Worland community went above and beyond Monday to welcome 1st Lt. Alva Ray Krogman home.

Everyone knows the story by now, U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Alva Ray Krogman of the 504th Tactical Air Support Squadron was shot down over Ban Kok Mak, Laos on January 17, 1967. Krogman was initially listed as missing in action and about two weeks later was listed as killed in action. In July 2020, Krogman’s remains, which were located in 2019, were officially identified. On Monday he returned to his hometown of Worland, where he graduated in 1959.

The procession to start the process of bringing Lt. Krogman home began just after 7 a.m. Monday morning with about a dozen Patriot Guard riders, Bryant Funeral Home personnel, Krogman family members and others wanting to be a part of the procession heading out. In Billings after a ceremony at the airport, the procession headed back with many more Patriot Guard Riders and just good ole American patriots wanting to be a part of bringing him home.

Through each town the procession was met with people lining the streets, flags waving, salutes given.

Temperatures began to rise and hit a record 106 degrees about the time the procession was getting into Worland. People had begun lining Tenth Street and Big Horn Avenue about 4 p.m. The procession arrived at 6:10 p.m. welcomed by a flag flying high from a crane on the north side of Tenth Street, flags outlined the courthouse square, the Worland Fire Department used the ladder truck to fly a large American flag and an MIA flag over Big Horn Avenue, right above where the processional would drive to arrive at Bryant Funeral Home. There, Patriot Guard riders and American Legion Post 44 members escorted the casket into the funeral home.

Krogman’s story has touched many people. One woman who had a banner “Some Gave All, All Gave Some,” was there. Her brother was also killed in action during the Vietnam War. Another Worland resident realized his life mirrored that of Lt. Krogman, including graduating the same year, serving in the Air Force, the difference, due to his eyesight he never flew during Vietnam. … “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Throughout social media those who watched the processional whether in Worland, Greybull, Lovell or other towns, all were moved.

Comments included: “That had to be the most humbling, patriotic thing I have ever witnessed.”

“It was such a wonderful and touching example of what patriotism should be like. It brought me back to years ago as I witnessed so many of my friends and family members go to war and many of them never came home. I’m so thankful for this country and for all who served and continue to do so today.”

“Very moving to see all of the people supporting his homecoming! Proud American right here!”

“One of the most beautiful, patriotic, and honorable things I have ever been a part of. Escorting 1st Lt. Krogman home to Worland.”

“It was an honor to be part of this amazing experience. I am humbled and inspired by what I saw today. Let us Remember ALL of our Veterans as they ALL deserve this kind of respect.”

There were many people involved in bringing Lt. Krogman home, many people to thank but those who deserve the biggest thanks – besides Lt. Krogman for his service and sacrifice is that of his family who allowed Worland, Wyoming and Montana to be a part of this process including services on Wednesday.

While we honor Lt. Krogman for his service, the family has lost a dear loved one and has a chance now to let him fully rest in peace.

Thank you Lt. Krogman, thank you Krogman family and thank you Worland and Wyoming for honoring him in such a tremendous way on Monday.

—Karla Pomeroy

 
 

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