Fort Hood recognizes, honors all POW and MIA soldiers

Posted at 5:32 PM, Sep 15, 2017
and last updated 2018-11-03 15:20:03-04

Fort Hood held a solemn ceremony this morning to recognize and honor all service members who are prisoners of war or missing in action.

"It all started in 1947."

Clifford Petrey joined the Kentucky National Guard which transferred to the U.S. Army. After basic training in 1948, he was immediately deployed to Japan.

By late November 1950, he was an American soldier in the Korean war when Chinese soldiers took him captive.

"I was wounded again at the reservoir and was taken POW on the second day of December 1950," Petrey said. 

Petrey was a prisoner of war for 32 months and nine days, and the conditions...

"Brutal at best," Petrey added. "We walked all over North Korea for four and a half months, and we probably walked 1,500... 2,000 miles for what reason? I still don't know."

Petrey was finally freed in August of 1953 at the age of 19, and two months later married the only girl he'd ever dated. They've been married for 64 years. 

"The love of my life... for her, I would do anything," Petrey said emotionally. 

Sadly, not all prisoners of war have had the chance to return home and marry their best friend.

1,603 soldiers are still missing and unaccounted for. 

"It tears me up. I can't really say. Taps killed me," Petrey added. 

To all those prisoners of war still fighting their way home... 

"Keep the faith. Remember your maker. That's the best I could do," Petrey said. 

There are still 101 missing and unaccounted for from the state of Texas alone. 

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