Gold Star Flags Presented To Families Of Fallen Marines In Duluth

By KBJR News 1

November 18, 2012 Updated Nov 19, 2012 at 10:29 AM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com)
These feet belong to some of the Northland's old soldiers.
They moved across the Great Hall of the Depot on Sunday to pay tribute to comrades who will remain forever young.
This honor guard is helping to remember two Marines who fell in battle years ago.

"It's a gold star flag honoring our kia's and their families." said Mike LaBelle.

The gold star has long been used to honor families who have lost loved ones in war.
Mike Labelle is with a national group called "Honor and Remember Incorporated."
His job is to give gold star flags to deserving families.
On Sunday, he delivered two banners to a pair of families who suffered loss.
The first honoree was the family of Gerald Caldwell who lost his life in the Korean War.
He joined Duluth's Marine Reserve unit at the age of 17.

"He left and he was 18 on the ship going over to Korea." said Caldwell's sister, Patricia Breiland.

Gerald Caldwell was killed in action a short time later.
The second family was that of Marine Lance Corporal Michael McKeever who fought in Vietnam.
He was represented by mother LaVeryn and sisters Patty and Judith.

"On his second tour just into a month he was killed at the siege of Khe Sanh on the 23rd of February." said Judith McKever who was only 7 years old when her brother was killed.

Mike LaBelle of Honor and Remember Incorporated is a Navy vet of Viet Nam himself.
That's why he finds it important to give these flags to families even 40, 50 and 60 years later.

"I lost seven of my buddies over in Vietnam when I was there and it's something that has to be done." said LaBelle.

For Gerald Caldwell's sister Patricia, it's something that she is glad is being done.
She's touched that some of the vets from her brother's unit were at the Depot to see her get the gold star flag.

"I know they're remembering him, you know? But what else is there?" said Patricia.

In Duluth, Dave Anderson reporting.

Honor And Remember Incorporated is working to get their version of the gold star flag officially recognized by law.
You can find out more at www.HonorandRemember.org

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