It's tough for Army veteran Bruce Murray to share that he was once a prisoner of war in Korea.
"I don't talk about it, I don't think about it. All my friends, all the bikers that I ride with, most of them didn't even know until today," said Murray. "It's a part of my life I left back in Korea."
Murray was 20 years old when he was captured and lost more than 60 pounds during the 7 weeks he was a P.O.W. in Korea. His freedom came on July 6, 1953.
He joined other former POWs in Bakersfield on Saturday at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 97 for its annual POW-MIA Remembrance program. 17's Jim Scott was the guest speaker. He brought up George Ann DeMarco to speak on behalf of her brother Marine Corporal Jim Mozier, who went missing in Vietnam in 1967 at 23 years old.
"A sense of unreality when you are on the other side of the world and you are told your brother, your loved one, is perhaps dead," said DeMarco. "You don't know what to think."
After forty years of uncertainty, research, and DNA testing, DeMarco received her brother's remains in 2006.
"Dog tags had been recovered," she said. "And boots and a pistol, revolver and some personal photos."
DeMarco says her family now has a sense of peace, but more than 83,000 other families across the country, are still waiting for closure.
"It's ceremonies like this that keep the attention of the community and the government to that we need to maintain the search," says Wayne Wright, 9th district Commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
There were many tributes throughout the night like the table ceremony, which leaves a place setting for each military service. There was also a surprise helicopter salute. It was a solemn night to show the service and sacrifice of our former prisoners and those missing will never be forgotten.