9 months later, they began excavating a farm field. Aided by a backhoe, the crew dug ten feet into the ground. What they found is a miracle: David's dog tag,
a portion of his military ID, the lenses from his eyeglasses, and human remains later identified by dental match. This September, the Lemcke family finally got the call: David had been found. "It just sends chills," says Lise. "I was flabbergasted, I was crying, and I was grateful."
David Lemcke never aspired to be a soldier. The oldest of five kids, he was a devoted brother who taught his siblings how to fish and play baseball. He loved animals. When he was 15, he bought a horse, and cared for it on the acre and a half of land behind the family farmhouse on
Hilton resident Ken Moore is president of the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America. At the Dakota Grill, he points to Lemcke's picture, on a wall of pictures dedicated to Hilton's finest.
For Lemcke's family, his homecoming is bittersweet. David's father Howard died in 1973. His mother Elsie, in 1995. "The night before dad died, he dreamt he was chasing horses, and he and Dave went to get 'em," Lise says. "It brings such emotional closure. I hate that word. It brings you closure, peace. But there's a very high price for that peace, and not everybody understands that."
David Lemcke will be buried in the
and directly across the street where he grew up. After 43 long years, a native son makes the sacred journey home.
David Lemcke was promoted posthumously to Sergeant. His calling hours will be held on Veterans Day, November 11th from until at the Thomas Burger Funeral Home in Hilton. The funeral service will be November 12th at at the