If I am going through a busy day and I see an older veteran, they may be wearing a veteran's hat or talking about serving our country, I just want to walk over and thank them for keeping us safe. I really am so proud to meet them. I am also so proud to be an American and live in this country. I always insist on thanking our men and woman of the Armed Forces for their service as I periodically see them at an airport, an event, or recently at the MSU Pavilion as I was getting vaccinated. One again so proud to shake their hand.

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I love reading about our heros, and was touched by this story from fox47news.com. Reading about U.S. Army Air Forces 1st Lt. Robert Parker of Lansing made me wonder about how brave he was, and how wonderful it is to remember his service again after all these years. This young man from Michigan was declared missing during World War II at the age of 23.

Photo by: DPAA

The story is, in November of 1943, Robert was on a patrol on a mission in Papua New Guinea. He came across an enemy aircraft on the southern edge of Finisterre Range.  Robert shot down an enemy plane and then crashed into another, and the impact tore off his plane's wing. He crashed and was killed instantly.

So in 2010, some investigators found an aircraft crash site in Morobe which matched Parker’s aircraft. They then went back in 2019 and was were able to take Parker's remains to the U.S. to run tests. They matched his DNA to family members using a DNA references system. On March 9th, Armed Medical Forces identified Parker, and his family was so happy to bring him home after all these years.

1st Lt. Robert Parker has been on the Wall of the Missing at the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial in the Philippines. Sadly many more are still missing.  A rosette will be placed next to his name to show he has been accounted for. God bless him and all our brave woman we have lost over the years.

How Many in America: From Guns to Ghost Towns

Can you take a guess as to how many public schools are in the U.S.? Do you have any clue as to how many billionaires might be residing there? Read on to find out—and learn a thing or two about each of these selection’s cultural significance and legacy along the way.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

MORE TO EXPLORE: Lansing Then and Now