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Madill soldier laid to rest after going missing during Korean War

Published: Oct. 24, 2020 at 7:22 PM CDT
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MADILL, Okla. (KXII) - A fallen Madill soldier is laid to rest at last and reunited with his family after 70 years.

“From December 1950 at the battle of Chosin,” said Deborah Myatt, Army Sergeant’s Kenneth Walker’s oldest niece.

Walker was a Korean War Veteran and was 19-years-old when he was reported missing in action during the Battle of the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.

“He enlisted when he was 17 and he went to Japan and then they moved to Korea, where he was in three battles,” said Myatt.

Myatt was born three months after Walker went missing. Myatt said her uncle’s absence brought her cousins together to continue building his memory.

“To pull out our pictures of our youth and start finding ideas and things about remembering. And the collective memories and ideas have been really special. I think he’s brought the family that’s left all together again,” said Myatt.

Walker’s high school girlfriend, Joe Ann Thompson Smith, was able to goodbye to her first love;

“I’m so thankful that there’s so many people here and that we got him home,” said Smith.

Smith was 15-years-old when she last saw Walker before he shipped off for duty.

“I can still remember seeing him, standing out there on the pavement where the bus was with his duffle bag,” said Smith.

Saturday was the first time family members got near Walker, but only to lay him to rest with his mother and father.

“Welcome home, it’s been a long time,” said Smith.

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