The Patriot Files Forums  

Go Back   The Patriot Files Forums > General > Missing Persons

Post New Thread  Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-15-2017, 07:06 AM
Boats's Avatar
Boats Boats is offline
Senior Member
 

Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 19,178
Thumbs up Long-lost soldier returns to Minnesota and to the love of his life

Long-lost soldier returns to Minnesota and to the love of his life
By MARY LYNN SMITH | The Star Tribune (Tribune News Service) | Published: July 15, 2017
RE: https://www.stripes.com/news/us/long...7#.WWogldTyuM8

Army Staff Sgt. Gerald “Jerry” Jacobsen is finally home in Minnesota, 73 years after he went missing during a World War II battle in France.

And the woman who waited for him, with those decades now etched into her face, found solace Friday. She cradled the folded American flag in her lap, gazing straight ahead at the coffin that contained her husband’s remains, long buried in a French cemetery under a cross that bore no name. The love of her life will now rest in Section 31 on the southern edge of Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

“This is such a lift to my heart,” said Jacobsen’s 94-year-old widow, Catherine Tauer. “It’s wonderful to have him home.”

On Friday, Jacobsen received the military funeral honors he long deserved and that Tauer needed.

A six-man honor guard, its unison steps measured and precise, carried the flag-covered coffin from the hearse to the assembly shelter, where Tauer, family, friends and a few strangers looked on, absorbing the solemn ceremony. Grabbing the flag’s edges, the honor guard popped the flag from the casket, holding it taut during the crack of a three-volley salute and the mournful sound of a bugler playing taps.

Tauer held her gaze strong. Others in the crowd dabbed their eyes.

Slowly and precisely, the flag was folded and tucked tightly into a triangle. A soldier, bent on one knee, looked into Tauer’s eyes and quietly told her that on behalf of a “grateful nation, please accept this flag as a symbol of our appreciation for your loved one’s honorable and faithful service.”

Another flag was given to Jacobsen’s sister, Jacqualyn LaBathe, 86, and his nephew, Brad Jacobsen.

Missing man formation
Overhead, four World War II planes flew in the missing man formation -- one plane peeling off as the remaining three flew on.

“This is what she’s waited for for so long,” said Brad Jacobsen, who helped push to find and bring his uncle’s remains back to Minnesota.

Jerry Jacobsen went missing on July 15, 1944, was declared dead a year later and was counted among more than 82,500 U.S. soldiers missing in action since World War II.

Tauer, who remarried a decade later, held out hope he would be found. She and family members called and wrote to government officials and politicians, pushing for answers to no avail.

Then an Illinois woman solved the mystery. Roberta Russo, an amateur historian, was poring over once-classified documents about an unknown U.S. soldier buried in France and took note that the sparse identifying information in the files of the soldier buried as X-481 included the last four numbers of a soldier’s serial number printed on his underwear. She matched those numbers to Jacobsen’s records. DNA results confirmed his identity in June and his body was returned to Minnesota this week.

“It’s been unbelievable,” said Serena Garceau, Tauer’s niece, who helped her search for her husband. “She’s so happy. It’s like she gained 20 years back of her life.”

For Tauer, her love for the 27-year-old husband she lost to war is frozen in time. For more than 70 years, she’s looked at the photo of the man she married in 1943 and wondered where he was. Now he’s home, and she’ll go to the cemetery often.

“I have so much to tell him,” she said. “I’ll tell him how lonesome I’ve been. … I’ll tell him I love him.”

Personal note: Jerry Welcome Home you've made your wife very happy. May you now rest in peace on American soil with your loved ones (Boats).
__________________
Boats

O Almighty Lord God, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Protect and assist, we beseech thee, all those who at home or abroad, by land, by sea, or in the air, are serving this country, that they, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore in all perils; and being filled with wisdom and girded with strength, may do their duty to thy honour and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

"IN GOD WE TRUST"
sendpm.gif Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:16 PM.


Powered by vBulletin, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.