Clyde Carter’s siblings posed for a photo Monday at their brother’s marble memorial. Pictured, from left, are Patsy Devine, Cecil Carter, Wilhelmina Moore and Wanda VanWye. (Staff photo by Brett Eppley/beppley@madisoncourier.com)
Clyde Carter’s siblings posed for a photo Monday at their brother’s marble memorial. Pictured, from left, are Patsy Devine, Cecil Carter, Wilhelmina Moore and Wanda VanWye. (Staff photo by Brett Eppley/beppley@madisoncourier.com)
Clyde Marvin Carter was only 16 when he enlisted in the Army on Jan. 5, 1949.

Carter was reported missing in action in 1950 and later presumed dead in 1953. On Monday, Carter’s surviving family members finally got something they’ve been waiting 64 years for – a final resting place.

Carter’s four siblings, nieces, nephews and others gathered at the Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery for a service and dedication of a marble marker bearing his name.

A brother, Ronnie Carter, and a sister, Esther Moore, preceeded Carter in death.

Born on March 23, 1933, in Carrollton, Ky. to William and Eleanor, Carter was the oldest of seven children. His sister Wanda VanWye said their mother agreed to help falsify her son’s documentation so that he could join the military at 16-years-old.

After training, Carter was assigned to Company 1, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division during the Korean War. He was wounded in North Korea on Nov. 8, 1950. He returned to duty three days later.

From Nov. 27 to Dec. 1 that year, the 31st Infantry fought against Chinese troops that greatly outnumbered them on the east side of Chosin Reservoir.

Of the nearly 3,300 Army servicemen who began the battle, only 385 were without injury at its end.

Carter was officially reported as missing in action on Nov. 29, 1950, and presumed dead on Dec. 31, 1953. Sgt. Carter was awarded the Combat Infantryman Badge, Korean Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Purple Heart, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, Republic of Korea War Service Medal and United Nations Service Medal.

Joe VanWye, Carter’s nephew, delivered his uncle’s eulogy Monday.

“To give your life during war is the ultimate sacrifice that anyone can give for their country or another person.” He then quoted a verse from The Book of John ... “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

“In Clyde’s case he gave his life for all of us in defense of our country,” Joe VanWye said. “And we really appreciate what he did for us.”

After the brief service, where members of the American Legion Post 9 performed at 21-gun salute and Wanda VanWye was presented with a customary American flag, the family drove through the cemetery to Carter’s new marker.

While his name had previously been listed on the wall of a mausoleum, this is the first spot dedicated solely to him.

Debbie Bruce, Carter’s niece and Wanda’s daughter, said organizers at Arlington Cemetery helped to organize the ceremony. Initially, she said, they wanted to memorialize her uncle in Washington, D.C. When she told them her mother couldn’t travel, they agreed to place the marker here in Madison, less than a mile from her mother’s home.

“She has waited 64 years for at least a place to go to,” Bruce said.

“They’ve never had a resting spot to grieve,” she said, adding that her mother has attended numerous military meetings over the years to keep up with efforts to return the bodies of those lost as the Chosin Reservoir.

“Mom’s just at peace. Now she can go and know he’s got a place to rest.”

VanWye, Carter’s oldest living sibling, was just 15-years-old when she saw her brother for the last time. When their mother died at 29 of cancer, she said, she stepped into the motherly role in the family, helping to care for her siblings.

“It means a lot,” VanWye said of her brother’s white marble marker. “At least I’ll know now he’s got a place.

“I’ve always kind of worried, when they find him, where he’ll be.”

VanWye and her family paid close attention to prisoner exchanges following the war, always hoping Carter might be there.

Today, Carter’s family still hope his remains might be identified and returned home. All of Carter’s siblings have given DNA samples to assist in the identification of their brother’s remains should they be found.

“Our family has never given up hope on finding Clyde. With modern day science and DNA testing, our hope is that he will one day be found and be returned to our family,” Joe VanWye said, concluding his eulogy.

“But we are at peace knowing that he has a final resting place here when he is returned home.”