Missing soldier to be buried at Andersonville National Cemetery on Memorial Day

The United States Army soldier who had been missing for 73 years before his remains were identified a month ago.
Published: May. 28, 2023 at 7:06 PM EDT|Updated: May. 29, 2023 at 9:10 AM EDT
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ANDERSONVILLE, Ga. (WALB) - A United States Army soldier who had been missing for 73 years before his remains were identified a month ago, is top of mind today.

Corporal Luther Story of Americus was killed in action during the Korean War. He was last seen fighting off North Korean attackers before he went missing at the age of 19 in 1950. He was awarded the medal of honor posthumously a year later and will be given a proper burial on Monday in Andersonville National Cemetery.

He was on the minds and in the hearts of many, when Andersonville held its annual Memorial Day event on Sunday, the day before his service.

“Story was from Buena Vista, Georgia close by. He is one of four medal of honor recipients, he will join one of four medals of honors from this area. He enlisted early in the Army and was sent to Korea in the early days,” Army Col. Rob Choppa said.

One of the veterans pays his respect by placing wreaths near the grave site of those who have lost their lives.

“Today is a day that every American should pause to give thanks for those that have paid the ultimate sacrifice. We wouldn’t be here if we didn’t have veterans, we wouldn’t be a country if we did have veterans,” Dean Rakoskie, Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Georgia commander, said.

Many of the veterans who are buried here at the Andersonville National Cemetery fought in the Civil War. Organizers of the event said that it’s an honor to celebrate those here.

Charles Smith, post commander of American Legion Post 2 in Americus, is a veteran himself and says now is his turn to pay it forward for those that have sacrificed their life.

“A veteran is the most important thing in my life, and I’ve served my country for 20 years. Now I want to take care of the ones who come after me and those that serve all,” Smith said.

“This is the one that really feels, I get an absolute sense of honor to be able to tell this story,” Susan Sernaker, chief of interpretation of the Andersonville National Cemetary, said.

Choppa was also a speaker at the event. He leaves people with one message as they honor all veterans.

“The importance of going to a grave site here finding someone you don’t know and then looking them up and then honoring them, and then repeating it next year,” Choppa said.

An even bigger crowd is expected at Andersonville National Cemetery on Monday when Cpl. Luther Story will be interred, 73 years after he was declared missing during the Korean War.