Gov. Richardson presented the Purple Heart to the niece of a fallen soldier.
DES MOINES, Iowa (CNN) – At a campaign stop in Des Moines Monday, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson presented a Purple Heart medal to the niece of Corporal Clem Boody, who was listed as Missing in Action while serving in the U.S. Army in North Korea in 1950.
Richardson said Boody’s niece told him the family was notified back in 1954 that Boody had been posthumously awarded a Purple Heart but that the family had never received it.
“I’m very proud to say that the plea made by the family of Corporal Boody has been answered.”
Richardson thanked a member of his staff who, he said, was vital in securing the award.
Boody, a native of Independence, Iowa, was presumed dead in 1953, but it wasn’t until 2007 that his remains were identified.
The Democratic presidential candidate said he’d been negotiating with the North Koreans “for many years” to collect the remains of nearly 8100 servicemen from the Korean War but that he didn’t want to turn that part of the story into political exploitation.
“I also realized at the time that I was a candidate for president,” Richardson said, “and that it was important that an event like this, the return of remains, should not be politicized.”
-CNN Iowa Producer Chris Welch