North Dakota Korean War Veteran Remains Returned Home After 64 Years
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - An army corporal killed in the Korean War is being returned home after 64 years.
Family members were there tonight, as his remains were flown in to Hector International Airport, ahead of a burial ceremony in New Rockford Thursday.
Army Corporal Cletus Lies was killed in action while tending to wounded comrades in North Korea in 1950. He was 26.
This past December, his remains were identified among hundreds of boxes returned to the U.S. from North Korea in the early 90s.
Finally, all these years later, he's going home.
Jo Berg grew up hearing the name and seeing the photos of the uncle she never knew.
When she found out that remains returned to the U.S. from North Korea were identified as Army Corporal Cletus Lies, she was shocked - but she and the rest of the family knew just what to do.
Jo Berg/Lies’ Niece: "It was just like, well, we have to bring him home. That's just our duty as relatives, as nieces."
Sixty-four years after his death, the family, accompanied by military groups from around the region, welcomed Corporal Lies home to North Dakota, on a windy tarmac at Hector International Airport.
Jo: "It was like being in another world, kind of. It was hard to describe."
Seeing that folded American Flag and the box containing Corporal Lies' remains hit home for some of the Korean War Veterans present.
"I just couldn't have missed it."
John Anders served in Korea from 1951-1952.
John Anders/Korean War Veteran: "It was very emotional, very emotional. You could almost think of this fellow as maybe a comrade, a friend."
After all, the soldier's creed states: "I will never leave a fallen comrade."
Jo: "The closure for my grandparents if they were alive is kind of satisfaction for us."
Corporal Lies will be laid to rest in New Rockford Thursday.
There, he will receive a posthumous purple heart.