Wife Recalls Never Giving Up HopeFargo, ND (WDAY TV) - The family of a Fargo man is preparing to honor and remember him, years after he died serving our country in Vietnam. The remains of Major Tom Beyer were discovered years ago by a villager in Vietnam, who secretly kept them in a box.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
They were finally turned over to the U-S military, and in just days, the pilot will come home to Fargo for a funeral and burial. He was shot down in July of 1968, leaving behind his wife and two children. Tonight we have reaction from his wife, Karen.
As a young man, there are two things Tom Beyer wished for: Becoming a father and an Air Force pilot. He did both, but his dreams were cut short in the jungles of Vietnam.
Karen: “You always wonder and at first we had more hope.”
Karen Beyer fondly remembers her husband Tom. He went to Shanley. They met at NDSU.
KAREN BEYERTom's Wife: “He had a lot of friends; had a lot of friends and he loved flying.”
Both had Hollywood good looks. They fell in love, married and had two children before Tom shipped out to Vietnam as an Air Force Pilot.
“That's what he wanted to do. He loved the flying.”
It was a hot sultry day near DaNang, Vietnam July 30 of 1968, when Tom's plane was shot down. The crash site would go un-noticed for decades, until a villager in Vietnam found Tom's remains and kept them secretly for years. The US military finally secured them and let Karen know Tom would finally be coming home.
“This is such an emotional time and joyous time that Tom is finally coming home.”
At times so surreal, there were years of not knowing, wondering, hoping, and now the realization of a final chapter.
“We can put this behind us.”
And thru it all, what has been lost over the years. The two kids Tom Beyer remembers today have grown up to be wonderful adults with their own children.
“That is what is so sad, that he missed everything with the kids, and all the joys of the kids and grandkids.”
Karen never re-married. She raised the two children with the help of family, always knowing they had a father who cared and loved them all.
“I look at it, you take what comes in life and I have always thought about what I had, not what I did not have.”
This wife and mother will be the first to pay their respects to Major Tom Beyer. It's the holidays, and there can be no greater gift than this, to welcome home their hero, their dad and to finally say goodbye.
Tom's funeral is set for Saturday, December 18th at St. Mary's Cathedral in Fargo. Boulger is in charge of arrangements.