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Long-missing soldier's remains return to Ascension Parish

1 year 11 months 1 week ago Wednesday, July 06 2022 Jul 6, 2022 July 06, 2022 8:30 PM July 06, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

PRAIRIEVILLE - A soldier whose remains went unidentified for roughly 70 years is finally coming home for a proper burial this week. 

The Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office said Cpl. Lawrence Brown's remains would be escorted Wednesday afternoon from New Orleans to Prairieville, where a funeral will be held this weekend.

Brown won nine military awards, including The Purple Heart.

Brown was born in Praireville before moving to Baton Rouge and attending McKinley High School. 

Back in May, federal officials announced that Brown's remains had been identified decades after his death during the Korean War. 

Only a few people alive ever met Brown. One of them is his cousin Odessa Williams Johnson. 

She says it was important for Brown to come home and be put to rest in Praireville. 

"He could have been buried in five cemeteries but we chose to bring him home. I know they are actually in heaven, I know they are so happy," Williams Johnson said. 

Family members say Brown was a fun-spirited kid,  always being mischievous. 

"He was fun type of guy, he like to play jokes on siblings and friends," Williams Johnson said. 

Witnesses said Brown, who was 21 years old at the time, was captured near Kujang, North Korea in 1950.

Nobody knows the exact time he passed away.

His remains were among those recovered from a POW camp in 1954, though they would ultimately be buried—unidentified—at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Honolulu.

His remains were disinterred in 2019 as part of a program aiming to identify unknown individuals lost to war.

He will be buried on Saturday next to his parents. 

Williams Johnson says if she could tell Lawrence one thing, this is what it would be. 

"Welcome home, we love you," Williams Johnson said. 

Read more on Brown and the program here.

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