Community welcomes home fallen Korean War veteran

Hundreds of people lined East Racine Street Thursday afternoon as Army Cpl. Donald Hendrickson’s remains were returned home.

Hendrickson was only 19-years-old when he died fighting in the Korean War. His family never knew what happened to him until a recovery operation found remains near a battle site in Korea. Hendrickson’s were identified and the process to bring him back to Janesville began.

“The time doesn’t make any difference,” Korean War Veteran Lamar Deuel said. “The honor will always be there that he deserves.”

A police processional escorted Hendrickson’s remains from the Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport to Schneider’s Funeral Home in Janesville.

“It’s just a nice way to say to the family there is people who do still do care,” Micheal Johnson, who is part of VFW Post 1621, said.

Nearly 1,500 American flags lined East Racine Street from the roundabouts to the funeral home. People from the community came out to show their support, some bringing flags of their own.

“We do it to honor those that have earned the right,” Deuel said. “And more than that kind of an explanation, I can’t give because it’s something that comes from inside.”

A funeral with full military honors is scheduled for Saturday. The community is invited to line the streets from Cargill United Methodist Church to Oak Hill Cemetery around noon. The route will start on Wesley Avenue, travel north on Harmony Drive, west on East Memorial Drive and north on North Washington Avenue.

The family said Hendrickson will be buried within sight of his mother’s grave.

Gov. Scott Walker has ordered all American flags and state flags in Wisconsin flown at half-staff on Saturday in honor of Hendrickson.