62 years ago, an 18-year-old Bakersfield High School student dropped out of school to fight in the Korean War. But, Roosevelt Clark never came home and no one knew what happened to him, until now.
The military confirmed some of the remains given to them by North Korea in the 1990's belong to Clark. His family wants to bury him in Kern County with full honors.
"He's the 9th from the top on the left hand side of the memorial," said Leon Thomas, Clark's classmate.
Thomas remembers the name because even though Roosevelt Clark was lost six decades ago, this town never forgot him.
"We're going to reclaim one of our own," said Ken Hooper, Historian for the Kern Veterans Memorial Foundation. "We are going to reclaim a Driller."
A student at Bakersfield High School and a football player, Clark dropped out his junior year to join the Army.
"When his friends were participating in their senior year of high school, he was fighting the Chinese and Koreans in North Korea," said Hooper.
Six months into his service, he was reported missing. Decades passed with no news. Then a few years ago, the military requested his cousin's DNA.
"One day I got a call and he says we found Roosevelt's remains, and I says no and he says yes," said Rosa Rentie, Clark's first cousin who lives near San Jose. "I said how did you do it and he said through DNA,"
In the 1990's, North Korea returned 208 boxes of Americans' remains. Decades later, DNA proved Clark's was among them.
"It was shocking to us, but yet we all kept hope and prayers that someday he would come home," said Rennie Hunter, Clark's first cousin who lives in Dallas, Georgia.
Clark's mother and father have passed and he doesn't have any immediate family here, but his family said they want Clark buried here because this was his home.
"I think numerous groups will come together," said Hooper. "He will not come back alone."
The Army Casualty and Mortuary Affairs Center will meet with Clark's family in Louisiana on Thursday.