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Tom R.
Republican NY 23

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  • Honoring the Life and Service of Corporal George Conklin

    by Representative Tom Reed

    Posted on 2013-12-10

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    REED of new york in the house of representatives Tuesday, December 10, 2013 Mr. REED. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the life, service, and sacrifice of a constituent, Corporal George Conklin. Mr. Conklin of Phelps, New York, enlisted in the United States Army in 1949 at the young age of seventeen to answer our nation's call to service during the Korean War. Tragically, it took sixty-four years for him to return home.

    George Conklin was serving in the 7th Infantry Division's 31st Regimental Combat Team as a Private First-Class in Korea when he disappeared on December 2, 1950. Wounded in the leg, he was loaded onto a transport truck for evacuation, but soon thereafter, he and his colleagues went missing. It was not until the conclusion of the war in 1953 that Corporal Conklin was formally classified as ``Killed In Action.'' The U.S. Army posthumously promoted him to the rank of Corporal and awarded him the Purple Heart.

    Corporal Conklin's family never gave up hope that one day he would return home. The family waited for over sixty years until this past September, when his niece, Karen DesCamp, finally received the news that she and George's other relatives had waited a lifetime for. After one of George's brothers donated a DNA sample to the Pentagon, Corporal Conklin's remains were positively identified at a laboratory in Hawaii.

    It is with humble appreciation that I acknowledge Corporal George Conklin's return home to Ontario County. Hundreds of civilians and military veterans joined a military honor guard to give him a final welcome home as the plane carrying his casket touched down in Rochester. He was then laid to rest next to his predeceased parents and two brothers in upstate New York.

    I cannot begin to imagine the feelings and emotions that have afflicted his family over the past six decades, but I am relieved to know that Corporal Conklin is finally back where he belongs, resting peacefully beside his loved ones. His ultimate sacrifice for the good of our nation and preservation of our freedom will never be forgotten.


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