Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Georgia Man MIA Returns Home after 67 Years

After 67 years as an MIA, my uncle & namesake, Leslie Royal "Leroy" Sutton, returned from North Korea to his native South Georgia. My father, Bill Sutton, and my Aunts Elizabeth & Jeannette began this journey several years ago to actively seek out my uncle as a promise to my Grandmother Gertrude Harris Sutton. My father's DNA helped to eventually make the final determination after my sister Franc...es Gattis & my cousins Vivian White & Lorraine Crawford also donated DNA to help narrow down the possibilities.
Now a great hole in the heart of the Sutton family is closed as we laid him to rest with full military honors in his hometown of Rochelle - a few miles south of Macon. My sister and cousins met the plane in Atlanta & followed in a huge motorcade of Freedom Riders on motorcycles, military escorts as well as law enforcement from every city & county along the way. People waited for them on overpasses waving flags & welcoming him home one last time.
The Sutton family has a long history of serving our country even before there was a USA, including those who served in the Revolutionary & Civil Wars & almost every conflict since then. My father, who went missing in action & became a POW in WWII, never lost hope that his baby brother would one day be found. I only wish he was here today to see his & his mother's wish come true. I know my aunts & uncles (his brothers & sisters) who preceded him in heaven are welcoming him home there as well.
As his only namesake, Leslie Royal Sutton, I also never gave up hope that my uncle Leroy would come home, and I pray that one day one of my cousins or nieces & nephews will honor him & his
memory with his name as my parents did me. This kept his memory burning inside me for all these years. I can never live up to the honor & sacrifice that father & my uncle made for us and our country. I can only stand in awe & thank America's greatest generation for making it possible for me & all of the rest of us Baby Boomers to be here on this earth today. God bless everyone who made this day happen for the Suttons & all of those who were able to share this precious moment with us.
Roy Sutton

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