Major Troy Gilbert's Family Fights to Bring his Body Home

    A Wichita Falls family is fighting to bring their son's body home from Iraq.
    Major Troy Gilbert went through pilot training at Sheppard Air Force Base.
   He died in November of 2006 when his F-16 crashed.
     When Major Gilbert's family found out the troops were leaving Iraq, they wanted to know when their son would be coming home ...
    So they asked who was looking for his body.
    They were told no one -- because he's classified as "killed in action -- body accounted for" ...
    But the only remains that ever came home were just enough to get DNA for identification. And his family believes no airmen should be left behind.
     "I can't be with you this Christmas, & it breaks my heart. I miss you guys.  I love you very much."
    He was the kind of daddy who, when he was deployed, sent a home video to his wife and five little kids, reading the Christmas story from the Bible.  That video -- along with presents for his parents -- would arrive the very day Major Troy Gilbert's family found out he had died.
    Ronnie Gilbert
Major Troy Gilbert's Father
    "It leaves a big hole in your heart, & it was very hard -- & still is. Knowing that ... a piece of you is gone & won't be back. We just know that one day we will see him again."
   Major Gilbert had been providing F-16 air support to Delta Force troops on the ground in Iraq ... Who were being overrun by insurgents.
    "They were in radio contact with him, & they were telling him what was happening to them, & he kept coming back & saying that he would not leave them. That he would stay there, & do what he could. And he did. Like i say, he did save their lives."
    Major Gilbert tried to avoid civilians -- as he targeted three insurgent trucks.
"He did take out the first truck, but he was so low that he was only 300 ft. Off the ground when he did his first pass. And he did a tight turn to keep the other two trucks within his vision. And when he came in on the second truck, he was just too low & didn't have time to pull up -- & flew his plane into the ground."
    Right after the crash, insurgents released a video.
"Showed em standing on the wing of the plane, you know, jumping up & down & hollering ... and then after a little bit, some of the other ones found his body, so they took the camera over & showed his body."
    By the time U.S. forces reached the crash site, all that remained was a small amount of brain tissue in the plane's canopy.  That is now buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
    On September 11th, 2007, Major Gilbert's family was hit with another blow:
"They dug Troy's body up from the grave, showed his decomposing body, & did a propaganda video saying that he was Bush's baby killer."
    As if they haven't already experienced enough heartache ... the Gilberts were devastated to find out no one is looking for their son. 
   "He is part of us. And I don't think we can have full closure until we do get his body back. Just knowing that his body is laying over there in a grave somewhere -- is driving us crazy."
   Troy's mother put this yellow ribbon on their front door in 2006, after Troy was killed.  She says she won't take it down until Troy's body is back home in America, where he belongs.
   "I will stay safe, I will stay healthy, & I want you guys to do the same."
    Troy made the ultimate sacrifice for his country ... leaving behind a wife and five precious kids. Now, his family says, they just don't want their hero's body left behind.
   "Know that I'm there with you in spirit, and I love you and I miss you."
    The Gilberts and others have been lobbying congress and the Air Force that a 7th name be put on the list of unrecovered Iraq war casualties. .
        They just found out that the Secretary of the Air Force has sent a letter to the Undersecretary of Defense, requesting a search.
    Major Gilbert's family has a meeting with Department of Defense officials tomorrow.

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