Robert Archer was captured during the Korean conflict and kept as a prisoner of war. He died before he could make his way home. It took the examining of DNA evidence to prove that remains which had stayed back in Southeast Asia following the war belonged to Archer. On Saturday, his hometown of Brazil will give him a proper send-off.
181st Intelligence Wing, Executive Officer Frank Howard says many military remains are never even recovered.
“Especially for the Korean War veterans, this is a great event and honor for them,” Howard says. “Throughout history war veterans have been honored when they’re returned, but unfortunately we’ve had quite a few prisoners of war whose remains were not available at the cease of hostility.”
Larry Eckhardt wanted to find a way to honor the Archer so he organized a flag ceremony. More than 2,200 flags will be placed around the Brazil in Archer’s honor.
“These young men and women give so much to protect this country,” Eckhardt says. “I think it’s the absolute least we can do is make sure these flags watch over them while they go to their final resting place.”
The flags will be up until Saturday afternoon.
Lexis Banks contributed to this report.