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Ohio memorial to honor soldier who disappeared off Hawaii 10 years ago

  • COURTESY: AKRON BEACON JOURNAL
    Jason Henderson, left, in a 2002 file photo with his wife Elizabeth and then 8-year-old son Kamaile. A memorial service in Ohio Thursday will honor the Hawaii National Guard soldier who disappeared a decade a ago off the North Kohala coast.
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AKRON, Ohio >> A northeast Ohio soldier who disappeared while boating off Hawaii island 10 years ago will be remembered this week at a memorial service in his home state.

Authorities said 2nd Lt. Jason Henderson went missing during a fishing trip in Aug. 14, 2002, months after he was commissioned as an officer in the Hawaii National Guard. Authorities searched for days, but the 30-year-old University of Hawaii graduate and his raft were never found.

His mother told the Akron Beacon Journal that she wants to believe Henderson is still alive, but she feels the Thursday memorial service at a cemetery near Akron provides some closure for the family. Henderson’s son is expected to attend.

It will include full military honors. Henderson had served 10 years in the U.S. Army Special Forces.

Henderson failed to return from a daytime fishing trip off the North Kohala coast in a 12-foot Zodiac double-hulled inflatable boat out of Mahukona Harbor.

An extensive search that included a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules and a Navy P-3 Orion, lasted for several days and covered about 67,000 square miles of ocean was unsuccessful. National Guard volunteers on Maui and Hawaii island also searched coastlines facing the search area.

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