BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — Family members in Ascension Parish welcomed home Korean War veteran Corporal Lawrence Brown. His family says Corporal Brown was identified after his death, nearly 72 years ago.
“Welcome home, we love you,” said Odessa Williams Johnson, Cpl. Brown’s cousin.
Odessa Williams Johnson is one of the last surviving family members of Cpl. Lawrence Brown.
Cpl. Brown was sent to fight in the Korean War in 1948. Two years later, he was captured near North Korea. After that, family members never heard from Brown, and never knew if he was alive or dead until 72 years later. In May, federal investigators identified Brown’s remains.
“DNA was done after his parents had died. The DNA was done from an aunt and two first cousins and the brother, all of those have passed away with the exception to one,” said Johnson.
On Thursday, the family brought back Cpl. Brown’s remains from New Orleans. The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office held an honorable ceremony for the veteran.
“To bring him back home after being gone for so long is miraculous,” said Ascension Parish Sheriff Bobby Webre. “This Korean conflict was real war and to have some of our young folks from right here in Ascension Parish go fight that war, I mean, he was in hand to hand combat.”
Brown’s family members said they are in shock. Johnson describes her first cousin as a fun and helpful man.
“He liked to have fun and play jokes on people,” she said.
Before Cpl. Brown’s parent’s died they were still wondering what happened to their son. On Saturday, he will be laid to rest right next to them in Prairieville.
“He’s actually coming home. He could’ve been buried in five cemeteries, but we chose to bring him home,” said Johnson.
Cpl. Brown received nine military awards for his service, including the Purple Heart.
Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, July 9th at the Lawson & Rollins Purple Shield Funeral Home.