Lubbock Vets honor returned Korean War remains

Lubbock Vets honor returned Korean War remains

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LUBBOCK, Texas -

It is known as the forgotten war, tucked between World War II and Vietnam. 

For those who served in the Korean War there are reminders every day of what happened. 

7,699 Americans never came home from the conflict. 65 years after the Korean Armistice Agreement, North Korea claims to be returning 55 service members to the United States.

"55 is the beginning and we are so grateful for the the president and the administration for finally having the courage and the capital to do this, to make this happen," Benny Guerrero, Commander for the Lubbock Veterans of Foreign Wars, said. 

Those remains still have to be verified but the VFW, Friends of the Monument of Courage, The Military Order of the Purple Heart and Remember our Heroes all host a memorial service recognizing those who have returned.

"We wanted to honor them on the same day of Purple Heart day because all 55 missing in action that have recently returned home are Purple Heart recipients," Guerrero said.

The day carries much more significance than just honoring those recently returned. It remembers those who fought in Korea such as retired Corporal Jessie Hatchett.

"We think of them everyday and we remember them everyday and what happened and how we miss those that other people knew, that I didn't personally know, did not come home but I have friends who lost their loved ones, lost their family members and that's very important to them and it's important to me because of them," Hatchett said. 

"When we start to forget what we do is a disrespectful sign to Gold Star families who are actually the ones who have to endure the loss of a loved one for our freedoms and we cannot allow that to happen," Guerrero said. "So we continue to ensure the community remembers because it's said that a soldier truly dies when he's forgotten."

Hatchett said the best way to honor those who gave their lives is to bring home every last one of those MIA.

"We're looking forward to the rest of them, as soon as possible, coming home," he said. 

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