UNION, S.C. (WSPA)- A soldier who died fighting in the Korean War more than 70 years ago finally returned home and was buried in Union.
Army Corporal Ralph Boughman was reported missing in action on December 2, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces in North Korea.
One member of the Patriot Guard said, “He was just a child when he died, but he was not forgotten, and we will never let him be forgotten.
The 21-year-old’s body was never recovered after the battle and left overseas.
“You have to think about the family and wonder how many nights they laid awake and wondered where their son was,” added the Patriot Guard.
In 2018, after almost 70 years of being missing, his remains were turned over by North Korea and Saturday, the American soldier was laid to rest in his hometown of Union at the Rosemont Cemetery.
Dozens of friends and family gathered to show their support.
“You can’t have closure until you finally get your baby back home and lay him to rest and back in these great United States,” said the Patriot Guard.
Staff Sergeant John Erickson said it didn’t matter how long it took to find him, his life and service to the United States are worth remembering.
Erikson said, “The level of honor I feel and being still currently being active-duty military, I think it says a lot that we look back on our past warriors, our past soldiers, and we’re able to see the heritage, see the honor and see the privilege it is to be here for them.”
Sergeant Erickson said for people in the military, honoring someone in this way isn’t anything new.
“You put the uniform on, you go through the training and unless you’re from a military family or you’re very patriotic, there’s just certain things you can’t understand until you understand them.” Erikson said.
Boughman’s name is recorded on the Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery, along with the others who are still missing from the Korean War, but a rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate he has been accounted for.