The bodies of 35 crewmen of the U.S. frigate Stark who were killed in an Iraqi missile attack began their journey home today after a brief ceremony at Bahrain International Airport.
John Kiser, 5, crossed his heart at his mother's bidding as the remains of his father, Electronics Mate Stephen Greg Kiser of Elkhart, Ind., and the other dead were saluted.
The 35 bodies, each in a metal casket draped with an American flag, were placed on a C-141 transport plane heading for Frankfurt, West Germany, en route to the United States.
Eleven of the bodies have not been identified. In addition to the 35, two crewmen are missing and presumed dead.
Navy Chaplain Gerald McNabb bowed his head to say a brief prayer before six Navy pallbearers, dressed in tropical white uniforms, slow-marched the caskets onto the plane, past a color guard with the U.S. Navy ensign dipped in respect.
A Navy bugler blew "Taps" before the last coffin was loaded aboard the plane, painted in dark gray and green camouflage colors.
Meanwhile, two sailors injured in the missile attack left Rhein-Main Air Base in West Germany for the United States today for medical treatment.