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Deceased veteran in airport motorcade returned to Idaho before family did, relative says

The post about the veteran honored at the Boise Airport has been shared hundreds of times.

BOISE, Idaho — When a veteran's final flight landed at the Boise Airport on Thursday, Feb. 3, no family was there to meet him. In the days that followed, a social media post from the airport and a previous story on this website has gotten a lot of attention.

In a Facebook post the day after the veteran's remains arrived on a Horizon Air flight to Boise, airport staff said the airport operations team, Boise Police Department, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Horizon Air coordinated a motorcade as a way to pay respects and thank the veteran for his service.

A relative who saw the story the morning of Thursday, Feb. 10, called KTVB to clear the air. The veteran in that motorcade had a family, and the family did not forget him. In fact, the veteran had memorial services in two states.

"It was heartbreaking to lose him," she said.

At the relative's request, KTVB is not publishing the identity of the veteran or his family at this time.

The relative said some incorrect information had been entered about the flight arriving at the Boise Airport with their loved one's remains. Also, she said, Idaho family members were still on the road from Washington state, where the veteran had died on Jan. 26, ten days after an accident in Everett, north of Seattle.

The veteran, a man in his early 60s, had been out of the military for about three decades. After he died, one service was held in Washington. After his body arrived in Idaho, a funeral with military rites took place Monday, Feb. 7, in Burley.

The relative who contacted KTVB said the family was still on the way from Washington to Idaho to plan the funeral in Burley when the plane carrying their loved one arrived in Boise.

Boise Airport marketing and communications manager Shawna Samuelson said the airport received "a heads-up from the airlines right before the plane arrived and understood that no family would be there to receive the fallen Veteran — so we stepped up to do the right thing."

The Boise Police Department said officers who were available "hurried to do the right thing and honor him as he arrived in his home state."

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