Forty years ago an United States airman went down in the jungles of Cambodia. The government said he became a prisoner of war and died missing in action. Friday night the Womelsdorf native was honored in the place he grew up.
U.S. airman, Captain David Pannabecker served his country.
"His main job in Vietnam was to go pick up other stranded down airmen or just stranded folks in the field there," said Colonel Keith Pannabecker is also in the Air Force.
"There's probably a lot of people that think I look a lot like my dad," said Col. Keith Pannabecker.
His dad went missing in action and became a prisoner of war when Keith was 11-years-old.
"You can't have anything but pride for someone that's willing to take those risks to help others," said Pannabecker.
And now 6 miles of Bernville Road in Berks County will bear his father's name.
"My dad is from Pennsylvania," said Pannabecker, "He's a local boy right here."
This road dedication is an honor to Pannabecker's family and it's something his childhood friends said they've wanted for years.
"He should never be forgotten. I think when we see that sign when we pass it, we'll always remember David," said Joe Zerbe of Robesonia.
During the ceremony Joe Zerbe read a note David Pannabecker wrote to him when they were seniors at Conrad Weiser High School, "When I'm married me and Bill are going to bring our kids to your house and beat the (expletive) out of your kids. That was David."
Zerbe said Pannabecker was a prankster. And his friends still remember the jokes and laughs.
"Thank God I had friend, David," said Bill McClean.
David Pannabecker's wife Jo Ann and his family knew they had to come in from Texas to see this dedication.
"This is a great honor for him today," said Keith Pannabecker during the ceremony, "We're very thankful that it's also a tribute to our nation that after 40 years he is not forgotten. Thank you."