Army vet, a Korean War POW, laid to rest in US after remains return from North Korea

A funeral was held this week for a Korean War veteran nearly 70 years following his death in a prisoner-of-war camp after he was captured during the war.

The family of U.S. Army Sgt. Frank J. Suliman was able to hold funeral services in New Jersey on Tuesday after his remains were retrieved by the U.S. government as part of President Trump’s agreement with North Korea that provided 55 boxes containing the remains of 55 American soldiers who were missing in action.

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The soldier’s two sisters, who are the only surviving members of his family, said they learned earlier this year that their brother’s remains were identified by the authorities and they were thankful he could finally receive a proper burial.

“The last thing I received from him was a letter and the ending of it was, ‘I'll be home for Christmas.’ And he came home. Not the way he expected. But anyway, he's home,” says Suliman’s sister, Olga Anderson, told News 12 New Jersey.

“The last thing I received from him was a letter and the ending of it was, ‘I'll be home for Christmas.’ And he came home. Not the way he expected. But anyway, he's home.”

— Olga Anderson, sister of U.S. Army Sgt. Frank J. Suliman

Suliman died in the war when he was just 21 years old after he was captured by enemy forces and held captive.

He was a member of Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division, fighting against members of the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces in North Korea, according to a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency statement.

On Dec. 1, 1950, a convoy of trucks Suliman was riding in was stopped and the soldiers were told to flee the vehicles and start walking.

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But others soon reported that Suliman was captured and taken to the Chinese People's Volunteer Forces prisoner-of-war camp at Pukchin-Tarigol, North Korea. He died there from dysentery and pneumonia in March 1951.

“This is a sad day for our town as Army Sgt. Frank Suliman, a native of Edison’s Bonhamtown section, is finally laid to rest with honor and dignity on American soil. I am thankful that Sgt. Suliman’s family now has the closure and peace-of-mind they deserve,” Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey said in a statement, according to the Bridgewater Courier News.

“This is a sad day for our town as Army Sgt. Frank Suliman, a native of Edison’s Bonhamtown section, is finally laid to rest with honor and dignity on American soil. I am thankful that Sgt. Suliman’s family now has the closure and peace-of-mind they deserve.”

— Edison, N.J., Mayor Thomas Lankey

“I am proud of our township police officers who escorted Sgt. Suliman’s remains from Newark Airport to Edison on Sunday; who stationed a 15-officer Honor Guard at the Boylan Funeral Home today, and escorted the sergeant to his final resting place in Wrightstown,” Lankey added. “I hope our officers were a comfort and source of strength to Sgt. Suliman’s family members.”

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Despite the agreement between the U.S. government and North Korea, more than 7,600 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.