Family and community members honor returned Korean War soldier

Photo Credit: KLFY
Photo Credit: KLFY

CROWLEY, La. (KLFY) – After 65 years of family and friends not knowing where Army Sergeant First Class Lawrence Smith’s remains were, they are finally getting some closure.

Sergeant Smith fought in the Korean War and died in a prisoner of war camp in North Korea.

On Wednesday, his remains landed in New Orleans. The Patriot Guard Riders escorted his remains in a military processional back to his hometown of Crowley.

Veterans, family and community members lined the streets to welcome the sergeant back home.

“We just want to honor his service and his sacrifice,” A.J. Jones said, veteran.

Sergeant Smith was captured in February 1951 and died when he was 26 years old. He left behind a wife and a 2-year-old daughter Melinda Smith, now Melinda Crowley.

Earlier this spring, Crowley discovered her DNA match remains found in the camp.

Crowley and her son Scott Trahan rode in the procession from New Orleans.

“For us, it’s not only paying tribute to a veteran who served and gave their life but a family member we can finally bring home and the support from the community has been amazing,” Trahan said.

Smith will be laid to rest side by side with his wife. The visitation for Smith will be held at the Geesey-Ferguson Funeral Home on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. with a graveside service immediately following at the North Hank Cemetary.

The Patriot Guard Riders ask community members to once again line the streets of Crowley to honor Sergeant Smith on Friday for the funeral processional.

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