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Worland airman welcomed home

In January, 1967, Air Force pilot First Lieutenant Alva “Ray” Krogman was shot down over Laos...
In January, 1967, Air Force pilot First Lieutenant Alva “Ray” Krogman was shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War - and his family back in Wyoming was unable to say goodbye, until now.(Wendy Corr)
Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 12:19 AM CDT
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WORLAND, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - In January 1967, Air Force pilot First Lieutenant Alva “Ray” Krogman was shot down over Laos during the Vietnam War - and his family back in Wyoming was unable to say goodbye, until now.

After 54 years, the Worland native has finally returned home. And the residents of the Big Horn Basin welcomed him with honors.

Kevin Curtis is the Wyoming State Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders. He and over one hundred other motorcyclists joined in the official procession from Billings to Worland to escort the remains of the downed pilot, which were only identified in July of last year.

“He’s been in his plane for the last 54 years,” Curtis noted, “so it’s time to bring him home, and bring him home right.”

The Patriot Guard Riders made up only a fraction of the huge crowds that lined streets in communities throughout the Big Horn Basin - in 111 degree heat - to welcome this Worland soldier home.”

The funeral service was held at the Worland Middle School Auditorium, where hundreds of people gathered to honor a man who gave all to his country.

A veteran himself, Assistant State Ride Captain Gary Hobbs said the honor and respect shown by the people along the route were befitting of the decorated war hero.

“All the way from Billings, even through the Big Horn Basin, it was just an outpouring of love and respect,” Hobbs observed. “And that’s what is very emotional for me, not only to help bring that veteran home, but to see the support in Wyoming, in Montana. Farmers, ranchers, people standing off, completely the whole way along the route.”

As the Lieutenant was laid to rest - finally - at the Riverview Memorial Gardens in Worland, family, friends and community members were there to welcome Ray Krogman home.

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