RED WING, Minn. (FOX 47) — It’s a story of perseverance and hope for a Red Wing family, who was finally able to lay to rest Gudmund Johnson Jr.
Corporal Johnson was a prisoner of war in North Korea, who died of malnutrition.
Johnson enlisted in the army four months shy of his 20th birthday on January, 7th 1949. He deployed to Korea during the late summer of 1950 and that would be the last time his family would see him.
In a telegram Johnson’s family learned that he was a prisoner of war and later died of malnutrition.
Decades later his family has the closure they’ve been waiting for, after a DNA match.
“They still didn’t have his remains and so they couldn’t put him to rest,” said Renee Garrick with Hiawatha Valley Beyond The Yellow Ribbon.
Saturday morning in Red Wing, a full military funeral and burial took place to lay to rest an American hero.
“We wanna make sure people don’t lose hope that this might happen for them,” Lance Garrick said.
President of Hiawatha Valley Beyond The Yellow Ribbon Garrick said the organization supports service members and their families.
“That closure is important to everybody so we’re glad to see it come,” Garrick smiled.
In a packed room at the Mahn Funeral Home, veterans gathered to honor Corporal Johnson.
“The ultimate goal is to make sure everybody comes home if someone goes and struggles and fights for this country and dies on battle field its a solemn thing for us to bring them back,” Lance Garrick said.
After 70 years, Johnson was laid to rest at his families plot in Red Wing, where he once called home.