There were tears when U.S. Army Pfc. Frank Primm Jennings’ flag-draped casket arrived at the Nashville International Airport on Wednesday, but not those of a family mourning a young soldier gone too soon.
They came from relieved relatives and the friends who supported them through 61 years of never knowing whether Jennings would come home. He disappeared during the Korean War after splitting from his platoon to take an enemy prisoner, an act of courage that earned him a Silver Star but not a proper burial — until now.
“It was a huge weight off our shoulders,” said Beronica Vise, 44, of Decaturville, Tenn., whose grandmother, Emily Vise, is Jennings’s sister. “We had given up that they would ever find him.”
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I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, these stories always get to me. It all goes back to May 2001 when I covered a repatriation ceremony on Knight Field inside the Yongsan Military Garrison in Seoul. It had been about a year since I started covering many of the Korean War commemorative events on the peninsula and in that time, I had learned much about the war through the veterans I met and interviewed. But on that warm spring day, my life was to change forever.
That was when the idea for War Remains first took shape, though it would take me nine years to realize it.
Welcome home, PFC Jennings.
Rest in Peace, Sir.
War Remains, A Korean War Novel (eBook)