DUNMORE — Friends and family stood in salute to a Vietnam veteran killed in the line of duty almost 50 years ago.
A Dunmore native, specialist Karl Rynearson of the U.S. army, died in 1967 while on his way to a mission.
The friends of the forgotten decided to remember him, as part of National Wreath Laying Day.
“We decided to lay this wreath and honor this person and tell the true story of his sacrifice,” said Kim Onda Atkinson, Friends of the Forgotten.
And that true story was an incredible one.
Rynearson’s friends and family say he made a decision while serving in Vietnam, that would change the course of events forever.
“Through a quirk of faith, Karl Rynearson volunteered to go on a mission in Herman Clark’s place, and that ill-fated mission, the helicopter crashed,” said Atkinson.
Rynearson was killed and his best friend Herman Clark finished his service and came home to start his family.
Something Rynerson’s family never knew about until very recently.
“They didn’t know the sacrifice that their brother Karl Rynearson that he volunteered to go in someone else’s place and his life was taken and because of that a whole other generation of family grew up,” said Atkinson.
“It feels wonderful, absolutely wonderful. He is being recognized for what he did,” said Anne Patterson, Rynearson’s sister.
“We didn’t even know the entire story until October, of this year, so it’s quite a bit of closure,” said Dave Patterson, Rynearson’s nephew.