TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — The remains of a Michigan teen who died during the Korean War have returned home.
U.S. Army Cpl. Charles Stanley Lawler was reported missing on Nov. 2, 1950. He was a member of Company M, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division.
The Army listed Lawler as dead in 1953, and the family received a Purple Heart in his honor. Lawler was 19 when he died, according to Wagner.
On Thursday, a parade of police vehicles and veterans on motorcycles took Lawler to Covell Funeral Home where a military honor guard awaited.
“That’s where Chuck’s getting buried, right next to his mother, right where he should be,” said Robert Wagner, husband of Lawler’s sister
Lawler’s burial on Saturday will close an excruciating chapter for his family, Wagner said. His mother always held out hope that he had been captured and not killed or missing, he said.
“He never got a chance to marry or have his own kids or nothing, really,” he said. “Nineteen years old and his life was gone.”
North Korean officials returned 55 sets of remains as part of an agreement President Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un reached at the Singapore Summit in June 2018, said Army National Guard SFC Amanda Taylor.
Army Sgt. Courtney Brown escorted Lawler’s casket to Traverse City from Hawaii, where the Compton, Calif., native was stationed, she said. She volunteered for the task and called it the most honorable and memorable experience of her seven years serving.
“Even though I don’t know him personally, he’s still my brother that I’m bringing home,” she said.