Family of a fallen Belgrade soldier is reunited with his remains - ABC FOX Montana Local News, Weather, Sports KTMF | KWYB

Family of a fallen Belgrade soldier is reunited with his remains 67 years after his death

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Bittersweet memories were made Thursday as the family of a fallen Belgrade soldier is reunited with his remains 67 years after his death in the Korean War.

"It's about time we got him home he's been gone for 60+ years," said Darrell Haugland, nephew.

A soldier is now back with family members and loved ones after being reported missing in action during the Korean War back in 1950.

"Didn't know what happened to them but now we can put him to rest," said  Darrell Haugland.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Harold P. Haugland, 22, of Belgrade, Montana, will be buried June 17 in Bozeman, Montana.  In late November, 1950, Haugland was a member of Company D, 15th Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, 7th Infantry Division.  Approximately 2,500 U.S. and 700 South Korean soldiers assembled into the 31st Regimental Combat Team (RCT), which was deployed east of the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea, when it was engaged by overwhelming numbers of Chinese forces. By early December, the U.S. Army evacuated approximately 1,500 wounded service members; the remaining soldiers had been either captured or killed in enemy territory.  Because Haugland could not be accounted for by his unit at the end of the battle, he was reported missing in action as of Dec. 2, 1950.

“He got the Distinguished Service Cross Award which is pretty rare, it's a pretty big honor it's the second highest working in the military," said Gail Meyers, niece.

To identify Haugland’s remains, scientists from DPAA and the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used circumstantial and anthropological evidence, as well as DNA analysis, including mitochondrial (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome (Y-STR) DNA, which matched two brothers.

“That is great, when my dad and uncle were still alive they got blood samples and did DNA so they were certainly hoping, they were hoping to get some results on it and closure," said Bruce Hauhland, nephew.

Today, 7,745 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Using advances in technology, identifications continue to be made from remains that were previously turned over by North Korean officials or recovered by American teams.

His family members are just hoping to give this fallen soldier a warm welcome home.

“A guy like that honors we can't give him enough honor,” said Clayton Haugland, nephew. “He gave his life for the country in that way so that's what this is about. We feel like the more the community comes to support him the more owner we can give to the man so that's why we’re here."

"Harold Haugland will finally be laid to rest in Bozeman at the Sunset Hills Cemetery on Saturday at 10 AM and the family says anyone is welcome to honor the fallen soldier.

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