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Family members and people of Acadia Parish welcome home remains - KATC.com | Continuous News Coverage | Acadiana-Lafayette

Family members and people of Acadia Parish welcome home remains of Korean POW

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It's been more than 60 years since Sgt. Kermit LeJeune was captured in Chongchon Ricer, North Korea during the Korean War. He died after four months of torture.

"His mother she never had closure, she still mourned his death or the loss of him throughout her life," said one of Sgt. LeJeune's nieces, Glenda Savoy.

However, his bravery and service did not go unnoticed.

"Yes he has many awards, eight of them actually," prided his niece.

One of those awards includes a purple heart. Now, after nearly seven decades, LeJeune has finally returned home.

"After 66 years it's time for a big welcome," said Savoy.

People from all over Acadia parish lined the streets Monday to welcome the fallen soldier.

"It's just a wonderful thing and I know his siblings would have been so happy to be here," said Savoy.

LeJeune's parents and four siblings died before his remains were identified.

"His brother Lorenza, Jr. started the search through his DNA and I know he would be so happy to know that his brother is going to be buried at the gravesite he will be buried at today," she said.

His family members say it's been bittersweet ever since they accounted for his remains back in October.

"We're going to substitute for his children he never got to have and that's what our mothers and fathers would have wanted from of us," she said.

But today is a cause for celebration.

"So that's something we can lift up and say thank you Lord for giving us this closure. Today is a jubilant and happy day for us, we cry and we laugh," LeJeune's niece said.

The visitation will be held on Wednesday, December 13 from noon to 10 pm and Thursday, December 14 starting at 8 am at the Duhon Funeral Home in Church Point.

The funeral services will begin at 11 am at st. Edward Catholic Church in Richard with the military honoring LeJeune with three volleys, the playing of "taps" and the folding and presentation of the United States flag.

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