A homecoming over 60 years in the making

Procession for Sgt. James Martin

BEAUMONT - It was a long awaited homecoming for Korean war veteran Sergeant James Martin. 
The Louisiana native was first reported "missing in action" in 1950. 
 
In 2001, sergeant martin's remains were found in Korea and were escorted through Southeast Texas today, to his hometown of Leesville Louisiana. 
 
"When you have someone come back after 60 something years, its amazing, it really is" stated Army Veteran Dale Rigney. 
 
Rigney and dozens of veterans and law enforcement officers escorted the young soldier who died in the line of duty over 60 years ago. 
 
"As a fellow veteran coming back to rest with his fellow conrads he fought with and supported, he gave his life for this country he deserves the highest respect of honor" stated Rigney. 
 
Martin was born in Anacoco Louisiana and enlisted in the U.S army after he graduated high school.
 
The 19-year-old was reported missing during the Korean war in 1950 and was declared deceased in 1953. 
 
"Its very important for us to remember our veterans and if its Korean war or WWI or WWII. We need to remember all our veterans" stated Veteran Normand Manuel. 
 
Normand Manuel waited outside of the town Singer with his wife Pamela in order to salute Sgt Martin.
 
A moment he will always cherish as a Vietnam veteran. 
 
"I saluted because I want to tell his family thank you for their sacrifices" Stated Manuel. 
 

Previous reporting: 

Patriot Guard Riders from Southeast Texas will be helping to escort the remains of a recently identified Korean war era veteran from Louisiana.

The remains of  U.S. Army Sgt. James E. Martin, who was reported missing during the Korean War, will be passing through Beaumont on the way to Anacoco, LA. according to Sandra Womack of the Southeast Texas Patriot Guard Riders.

Local riders traveled to Houston Tuesday morning to escort Martin's remains from the airport in Houston to Vinton, LA, where riders from Louisiana will provide escort the rest of the way.

Martin, a member of Company I, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, was reported missing in December of 1950 according to a release from the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.

OBIT | U.S. Army Sgt. James E. Martin

Because Martin's name did not appear on any list of prisoners of war  and no repatriated Americans reported Martin as a POW the U.S. Army declared him deceased in December 1953 the release said.

Martin's unidentified remains were discovered during the 25th Joint Recovery Operation in 2001 according to the release.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency announced on October 25, 2016 that Martin's remains were finally identified through DNA analysis, as well as circumstantial and anthropological evidence according to the release.

Internment is scheduled for November 17, 2016 in Anacoco, LA.

(© 2016 KBMT)


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