Korean War veteran honored after 66 years missing in action

Posted at 11:10 PM, Sep 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-25 00:20:08-04


Nearly seven decades ago, a young Kansas City soldier named Edward Comstock was reported missing in action during his service in the Korean War. 

He was a man who volunteered for a second tour despite being injured by shrapnel, his family said. 

Comstock's family is finally receiving some of the closure they've been looking for. 

On Sunday, the U.S. Army Command at Fort Leavenworth presented his loved ones with the awards he earned: The Purple Heart, The Good Conduct Medal, The National Defense Service Medal, The Korean Service Medal with Bronze Service Star, The United Nations Service Medal, and The Combat Infantry Badge. 

"This is just a little piece of him," said Comstock's niece, Terry Stoneking. 

Stoneking never met her uncle but grew up knowing his sacrifice. 

"This is the picture that hung in my grandmother's living room for years so he was never forgotten," Stoneking said, referring to the smiling picture of the 19-year-old Comstock in uniform. 

Comstock's absence weighed on the family for all these years.  Comstock's brother, Johnny, even re-enlisted in the military to go search for him. 

Comstock is still missing in action and presumed dead. 

For so long, the only piece of him his family had was a brick at the Missouri Korean War Veterans Memorial with his name.

But the ceremony was a moment 67 years coming.  

Stoneking gave the awards to her mother, who is Comstock's youngest sister, along with a 48-star flag. The flag is one that would have flown when Comstock went missing in 1951.

"We never leave a loved one behind, a fallen comrade behind. We may not be able to do it immediately, but we never stop in our efforts to do so," Colonel Greg Penfield of the U.S. Army Command said. 

Estimates show around 8,000 military members went missing in action in the Korean War alone. The U.S. government is still trying to track down those veterans' whereabouts. 

"It melts my heart that at least what we've done today is just a little symbol of what Edward meant," Stoneking said.