Finally home

On Tuesday Aug 14, the Marines of 3/25 had the privilege of being on hand to welcome home the remains of Corporal Clarence “Bud” Huff.  As some of you may remember for my post last month, Cpl Huff fell in battle 62 years ago on Hill 1520 south of Yudam-ni in Korea. Although he was a known battlefield casualty, his remains were never identified. Just this summer, forensics ninjas working for the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command were able to ID his remains. He had been buried at Punchbowl Cemetery in Hawaii as an Unknown all this time. One of my Marines, Sgt Smith, flew the Hawaii to escort Cpl Huff back to his family here in Ohio.

The plane arrives.

The Cleveland Airport allowed the Huff family and our pall bearers on the flight line to meet the plane. The local VFW had a color guard present as well as TSA. A number of airport employees lined up to meet the plane as well.

The Huff family a few of America’s finest watch the proceedings.

As the plane taxied to a halt passengers pressed against the glass to get a look at the line of flags and uniformed types standing by to render honors. Many took pictures and applauded when the pilot announced they were transporting the remains of a fallen Marine.

Pall bearers step off under the eye of the VFW honor guard.
A view from the plane thanks to our baggage handler friends from the airport.

Sgt Smith reported to me that as he got up from his seat the stewardess reminded passengers to please remain seated out of respect until the remains were embarked from the plane. As Sgt Smith moved through 1st class a gentleman stood up in front on him obviously on his own program. From way back in coach a voice suddenly bellowed: “Sit the &%#[email protected] down!” In a flash the startled passenger was back in his seat. Sgt Smith never broke stride.

Welcome home brother.
Another view from within the bird.
Bagpipes play as Cpl Huff is placed into the hearse. Note the airport employees rendering a hand salute near the front of the vehicle.
Overheard among the Huff family:
“Well, he’s finally home.”
“Yeah, much to his chagrin probably. He just spent the last 62 years in Hawaii and we brought him back to Ohio just in time for winter.”
We traveled with the procession back to the funeral home. We placed him in the room where they were to have the memorial ceremony the next day. Inside the casket Cpl Huff’s remains were sealed beneath the bedding. On top in repose was a set of dress blues with his military awards. We gave his uniform a once over to make sure it was all squared away. Poor guy had to endure one more uniform inspection before we’d let him go. 

Semper Fi brother! Welcome back to the land of the free.

America’s SgtMaj

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10 comments

  1. Crew Dog, I try not to admit I have feelings but yeah, I get them too.

    be603, if you read “Give Me Tomorrow” you know that George Company and Item Company (Cpl Huff) fought on the same ground.

    Paul, even after 62 years it was a pretty emotional event.

    Christina, there’s more where that came from! Stand by!

  2. Give Me Tomorrow is next up. Got is sitting here next to me. Out the door now to SSgt Dickinson memorial.

    Have wondered if he was one of your Kaneohe Marines…

  3. I love the Marines. Thank you for your service, and thank you for … how do I say it? Thank you for being a beacon of decency and honor in a world and in a country that badly need it.

    Damn. I got something in my eye.

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