Remains of Army Cpl. Charles Lawler Return to Traverse City

In a spot that is so often the place of emotional farewells and hello, cherry capital airport became the scene today of a return home that’s taken decades.

Army Cpl. Charles Lawler’s remains were among those recently turned over to the United States from the North Korean government.

“President Trump went to Korea for a summit and the North Korean leader handed over 55 remains of servicemen that we lost during the Korean War, and through DNA analysis and that over in Hawaii they were able to determine that one of them was Cpl. Charles Lawler from Traverse City,” said Gary Fender.

“Korea is referred to as the forgotten war. There’s still over 7,000 American military personnel unaccounted for and we just brought one home,” said Vietnam Veteran Calvin Murphy.

There to welcome Cpl. Lawler, generations of servicemen and women, including Calvin Murphy, who is still waiting to learn what happened to a fighting buddy from Vietnam.

“Arthur Wright from Lansing Michigan was captured February 21, 1967 and we do not know his fate to this day. So to be here at something like this, as many as they can for the ones that are coming home, I will be there and it just shows me, they are not forgotten. They continue to look for them,” said Murphy.

These are moments rarely seen in our country. But it is impossible not to sense and see the unbreakable bond that’s shared among those who served: a bond that endures across all time.

“It’s an honor to honor one of our brothers that’s coming home. We always live by the motto leave no man behind and one is coming home. One less that we have to worry about. That’s our duty. We’re always going to be soldiers, and when one of our brothers come home, as long as we can stand, or be pushed in a wheelchair or what, we will be here,” said Murphy.