HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - A north Alabama soldier made her final trip home Thursday evening, more than a year and a half after she disappeared overseas.
The body of Lt. Col. Mary Ewing was transported to Laughlin Funeral Home in Huntsville, with a full police and Patriot Guard escort lined up to help pay respects.
The Arab native and 27 year U.S. Army veteran went missing back in the spring of 2011 during a scuba diving excursion in the English Channel. Search teams were not able to locate her body until last month, ending a painful wait for Ewing's family back home. Though it was not the ending they had hoped for, family members said they were relieved to know that Ewing would have a proper burial.
"My mom was my hero," said Ewing's oldest daughter Brianna Jackson. "Having five kids probably wasn't very easy running around the house, but she was there for us. Even if we didn't know it, she was always there...She was all about the army, all about honor and respect, and she was just there for everybody."
Lt. Col. Ewing had been stationed in England during what would have been her final year of active service before retirement. She had multiple tours during her 27 year career, including a stint in Iraq.
A visitation for Ewing is set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Laughlin Funeral Home, with funeral services immediately following.