The Last Firebase
SSG Theodore Lane Sampley was a veteran's icon. His accomplishments were many and notable. For me, I will remember that he was able to bring at least one MIA home. During his search for any information about POW's and MIA's he was able to match information from the location of a pilot shot down over Vietnam with artifacts of the Vietnam Unknown buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Ted correctly assumed the Vietnam Unknown was Air Force Lieutenant Michael Blassie.
After much effort he convinced Lt. Blassie's family to demand that the Unknown be disinterred and DNA testing to be done. The results were conclusive. The Vietnam Unknown was known. The remains were that of Lt. Michael Blassie. Lt. Blassie's remains were returned to his family and are now buried in the National Cemetery in Saint Louis, Missouri. That is the crown jewel of Ted's efforts, at least one soldier came home.
Herman H. Mc Lawhorn, Walk of Honor Curator.
May 21, 2009