Local soldier’s remains return home to Hilton | News
The remains of a soldier missing in action for 40 years are finally home. Army Sergeant David Lemcke will finally be laid to rest this weekend.
Lemcke was listed as missing in action in 1968 in Vietnam.
The Hilton native's remains were flown into the Rochester airport Wednesday aboard a military jet. Fellow Vietnam veterans escorted his casket.
The procession and the car carrying Sgt. Lemcke's remains made their way from the airport to Hilton by early afternoon.
Terry Lemcke remembered his cousin this way. “Nice guy. He loved animals. He just liked people.”
Sergeant David Lemcke was listed as missing in action in 1968. His family says he was in a forward bunker near the DMZ -- the demilitarized zone -- when he died.
Lemcke's sister Lise says she was about 12 when the news came he was missing in action. “It was devastating. We first found out he was MIA essentially Memorial Day weekend and it was just devastating. It was something my mother never forgave and forgot. She always felt the Army took her son away. And because she didn't have a body to bury, a boy to bury, that they never gave him back. So now she can forgive.”
Ken Moore is president of the Vietnam Veterans Chapter 20 which acted as honor guard. “For me personally, I wore David's bracelet since the early 1970's. So I wore his bracelet for 40 years almost and being that I live in Hilton, it's special.”
Moore says he presented that bracelet with Lemcke's name to his family. “And although I never knew him personally, I felt all that time I had a personal connection for him.”
David Lemcke's mother and father did not live to see this day. Lemcke-Smith said, “She would have been pleased. She would have been pleased by the support and the people and just tickled that her boy was home.”
Sergeant Lemcke was 18 when he was drafted and 20 when he went missing.
The local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans says there originally were 12 soldiers missing in action from our area. Sgt. Lemcke's remains are the six to be repatriated. That leaves six more to be found.