CLINTON, Ind. (WTWO-WAWV) – Occasionally, when you least expect it, something amazing happens.
Mary Kincaid Chauncey spent over 70 years wondering if her brother would ever be identified.
He was killed in battle in Korea. But thanks to DNA technology, Sgt. James Coleman is coming home.
“It’s been like a miracle to me. It amazes me that they never give up on those that are lost.” said Chauncey.
As a older brother, Mary looked up to Jimmy and considered a him a hero… and he was
Especially, when smoke started to fill their home in Clinton.
Mary says Jimmy who was a teenager, took her to safety in a fun way.
“He got on his hands and knees he was going to give me a horsey ride. He said don’t be
afraid, we’re just going on an adventure, so my hero,” said Mary.
She also remembers Jimmy singing and playing the guitar, including his special song for her.
Which was You Are My Sunshine.
At the very end of WWII. Jimmy joined the Army. He wanted to make the military his career and eventually received orders to serve in Korea. Mary says before he left his musical ability caught the attention of the famous entertainer Tennesee Ernie Ford.
Mary’s mom had health issues and doctors recommended a drier climate, so the family moved to Las Vegas. It was there when they received the news that Jimmy was missing in Korea.
Jimmy received Bronze and Silver Stars for saving the lives of his squad including carrying a
wounded soldier to safety, like he did with Mary years earlier. Mary says after Jimmy was killed in battle the unidentified Americans were eventually buried in an unknown soldiers grave in Hawaii.
Several years ago, Mary’s other brothers submitted their DNA for testing. Her brothers who
have since passed away, didn’t think a positive i.d. would ever happen, but it did.
“But you know when the Army called me and said they found him, it did make a difference,” said Mary.
As for Mary she was once a casino cocktail waitress. Later she a member of the city council and the county commission in Las Vegas, and she also took time to raise eight kids and operate a business. Throughout the years, she was inspired by Jimmy and her brothers.
“I guess that’s why I ended up in politics because that’s how I felt I could help, said Mary.
Her patriotism and love of country was evident at an early age. As a 14 year old, the pain of Jimmy’s death led her to the write a poem about those paid the ultimate sacrifice for the nation.
The poem is entitled, Sorrow of War.
“When you think of all the loved ones who died to make us free, you wonder how the rest of
them so far across the sea, feel about the deeds they did that never shall be told, the deeds
they did for hope and love but seldomly for gold.
My mother’s tears, my father’s grief I see so vividly and say Ruler of us all, why does this have to be?
To Him I pray and only Him this prayer I now recall, oh gracious King so high above guide and protect them all.”
In November, the remains of Jimmy Coleman were brought to Arlington National
Cemetery. Mary was there along with many members of a family, included several who serve in the military. Mary said it was very emotional as her “hero” received full military honors from a grateful nation