BOWIE (KFDX/KJTL) — On Monday at Bowie city council, Mayor Bill Miller made a proclamation in honor of a Navy sailor who died in the attacks at Pearl Harbor.
But after fireman first class Bethel Walters remains were recovered, they will return home to Montague County to be put to rest in Bowie.
“He called us a few years ago and said all the boys from the West Virginia had been raised,” relative Cheryl Walters said. “I never met the man, but I love him.”
“They laid out the information of how they identified Bethel through the DNA, through letters we sent back that his mom had sent to him, or that he had sent to her with his saliva on it,” Walters said.
As a veteran, Mayor Miller is proud to be able to honor Walters and the Walters family.
“Being a 27-year navy veteran myself, this is something very unique that we can identify the remains and trace them back to the next of kin and that’s exactly what happened,” Miller said.
Walters’ husband Pat and son Chad both flew out to Hawaii on Monday to bring the remains back home, completing the journey started so long ago.
“They will all bring him back Wednesday morning 9 a.m. we will all meet him there as a family and bring him home to Bowie,” Walters said.
The Walters are holding a service for betel this Saturday March 14t and Miller anticipates a large reception to honor Walters.
“There’s going to be a lot of folks there so it will be a great honor to give tribute to this fallen Navy man who gets to have honor and closure for the family,” Miller said.
Along with the service, March 14, will be Bethel Walters Day in Bowie.