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An Iowa war veteran reaches final resting place nearly 70 years after his death in Korea

In June 2021, the remains of Army Corporal Eldert Beek were interred at Evergreen Cemetery in the northwest Iowa town of George.

Beek was a member of Headquarters Company, 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported killed in action on December 1, 1950, following enemy forces attacking his unit near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered. He was only 20 years old.

On July 27, 2018 — almost seventy years after his death — The North Korean government turned over 55 boxes of human remains the United States. On April 14, 2020, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency reported that Beek was officially accounted for using DNA analysis and circumstantial evidence.

Ben Kieffer talks with Army personnel and a Beek family member about how his remains were identified and brought back home to Iowa.

Later, Drake University emeritus law professor Russ Lovell discuss three cases in Iowa Supreme Court history that made a big difference in the lives of Black Iowans.

These episodes were originally produced in June 2021 and February 2021.

Guests:

  • Jeannette Gray, U.S. Army Human Resource Command
  • Sergeant First Class Sean Everette, public affairs specialist, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency
  • Eldon Maxwell, nephew of Eldert Beek from Rock Rapids
  • Russ Lovell, professor emeritus, Drake University Law School
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Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Rick Brewer was a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River