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Linn County soldier killed in Korean War honored with Ambassador of Peace Medal

Published: Jul. 10, 2021 at 10:32 PM CDT
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LINN COUNTY, Iowa (KCRG) - A Linn County soldier killed in the Korean War was honored Saturday as part of a widespread effort from the Republic of Korea honoring veterans who served in the Korean War.

Private Paul Albaugh, from Linn County, was killed in the Korean War in 1951. On Saturday, his family was presented with a Korean Ambassador of Peace Medal.

Although much of Albaugh’s family is now spread across the Midwest, they met back in Linn County for their family reunion on Saturday.

“Oh, this is the first time I’ve seen several of them in a long long time. And it’s just good to wind up hugging and talking about old times and where we are,” Donald W. Hawk, a nephew of Albaugh, said. ”I was 10 years younger than him during World War II, my mother was living in Marion, Iowa, and my father was in the South Pacific at that time, and so I knew Paul.”

The medal was presented to the family by Wayne Kreutner, quartermaster of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 788 in Cedar Rapids. During the ceremony, he gave some background on Albaugh and his history.

Albaugh served in World War II, and then in the Korean War. Kreutner said Albaugh died on April 24, fighting in the Battle of Kapyong, at the age of 24.

“I think I was probably a sophomore in high school when my mother got the call, and it was a very emotional time for her,” Hawk said.

Albaugh is buried in Campbell Cemetery in Linn County, just 20 minutes south of where his family celebrated and honored his life on Saturday. His family said they were grateful people are working to honor and remember soldiers like Albaugh and their service, still today, 70 years later.

“Just proud to wind up being a part of this family and the support that our country wound up doing for South Korea, so it’s very appreciated what South Korea has winded up doing for honoring Paul,” Hawk said.

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