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Eastern Kentucky POW's remains buried Saturday

By: Morgan Lentes, Mitchell Grogg Email
By: Morgan Lentes, Mitchell Grogg Email
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Staffordsville, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT)-- Updated: June 7, 2014

A solider who served in the Korean Conflict finally came home to Eastern Kentucky Saturday.

Richard Isbell died overseas, and his great nephew, Roger Jones, found out about him within the past few months because of an adoption in Jones' father's family.

"It's a great opportunity for me to get to know some of my family that I've never met before, and I'm meeting them here today," said Jones.

He also expressed his gratitude for the support of the military members who performed the military honors, as well as people who came from far away to honor is great uncle.

"My heart just feels like it's swelling up two or three times its size just seeing the Patriot Guard and Army and to honor this man that gave his life for our country," said Jones.

Members of the Patriot Guard Riders of Kentucky also came to honor Isbell.

"At the request of family members, we come out, stand a flag line," said J.B. Reynolds, who is a member of the group. "We show respect. We do a final salute. We escort them to a final resting place."

Original Story: June 3, 2014

LACKEY, Ky (WYMT) - It is a heart warming story that shows just how small the world can be. A Knott County man, mourning the loss of his father, found a new meaning to life after a long-lost relative came back into his.

The loss of a loved one impacts us all differently.

For Roger Jones, losing his dad last year, was heartbreaking.

"I had stayed with my dad every night for a year and a half taking care of him. Between that and work, you know, my dad and I had grown real close," said Jones.

But he found some comfort at his auto shop.

"It was a real hard time for me, when he passed, so I had spent a lot of time working. I stayed really busy from the time I got out of bed to the time I went to bed," said Jones.

He tells WYMT that as time passed, the pain eased. But there was still something missing in life.

But that all changed when he got an unexpected call.

"My aunt called one day and told me that the Army was coming to my place of business to meet with her," said Jones.

Richard Isbell was an American prisoner of war, captured in 1951, and taken captive in North Korea. He is also Jones's great uncle.

"That is the first time I even knew I had an Uncle Richard Isbell.

More than a half century later, Isbell, who died in a war camp, was identified. His remains were flown to Louisville on Tuesday.

"I had always been curious about the Isbell family and I hope this is an opportunity that I can get acquainted with some of the family," said Jones.

He adds learning of his long-lost relative has been the best possible therapy.

"I lost part of my life when my dad passed away and now hopefully I can get some of it back from this," said Jones.

Richard Isbell will be buried this Saturday at Highlands Memorial Cemetery in Staffordsville. Jones said that is where his father and mother are also buried.


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