REEDS, Mo. — Friday was a service that was 70 years in the making. He was the oldest son of Opal and Ira Alumbaugh. The son that never came home from war, Sgt. Loyd Alumbaugh, 21.
No one had firsthand stories to share, the family patriarch is now Wes Alumbaugh. Loyd was the Uncle he never knew. He tells us he was only a year-and a-half old when his Uncle Loyd died. “And he had enlisted in 1948,” so most-likely Loyd never even got to see his firstborn nephew.
“In late 1950, Loyd Alumbaugh was a member of Ambulance Company, 7th Medical Battalion, 7th Infantry Division. He was reported missing in action on Nov. 28, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered.” — DPAA
“We always had that picture hanging in our house, didn’t we?” Wes says to his little brother Bynum. “Oh yeah. We still got the picture.”
“Everyone liked him. He was a well-liked guy. He had many friends here. He went to school here. And he was a great skater,” Connie (Alumbaugh) Hoover tells us. She wasn’t born for years after her Uncle Loyd would have died. “We have a letter where he was asking his brothers about his skates, saying that they were going to be worn out before he got to use them again!”
“I remember how ones in the family would say they loved him. Wished they knew what had happened,” Connie continues. “It wasn’t until the 90’s that some survivors had come forward and said that, they knew he was one that was killed there.”
“It wasn’t until the 90’s they declared him dead,” Bynum agreed.
21-gun salute. Taps. Dozens and dozens of flags being held by former soldiers from all age groups. And yet none of them knew Sgt. Loyd Alumbaugh. But their loyalty remains. Wes tells us as a former soldier, “It holds true, leave no man behind.”
It was a large turnout. The likes that little Reeds Cemetery maybe has never seen. Or will ever see again. We asked the three siblings what was their impression of the day. They all seemed surprised and emotionally moved at the number of people who came.
“Proud, overwhelming. It’s hard for me to talk about it,” oldest brother Wes stated, pausing. “I didn’t think it would look like this today to tell you the truth. You know it closed one more chapter of the family’s life.”
He continues sharing how important it is for families to receive remains. “There were 13 Presidents that came and went. Truman was President when he went missing in action. It took Donald Trump to get the remains back. He was a different type of President.”
Reeds Cemetery hasn’t changed much in the last 100 years maybe. Today the grave was dug between Loyd’s mom and dad, and the young soldiers remains were laid to rest. In that Jasper County clay where he called home. And now he is home again.
“I greatly appreciate all that came, a way for him to be honored. We are blessed to have all these friends.” Connie smiled again, “to really honor our soldiers.”