CORNELIA — People across North Georgia paused Thursday morning to pay tribute to a fallen soldier.
U.S. Army Cpl. Terrell J. Fuller, a native of Habersham County, was reported missing in action on Feb. 12, 1951. He was declared dead on Feb. 18, 1954.
A plane carrying Fuller’s remains arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta from Hawaii about 7:15 Thursday morning. Following a plane-side service by the U.S. Army National Guard Honor Guard, a motorcade including law enforcement officers, the Patriot Guard and Scouts traveled along I-85, I-985 and Ga. 365 into Toccoa.
Along the way, veterans, families and public safety personnel paused to wave flags, take photographs and salute the fallen hero.
On the Ga.385 bridge in Cornelia, members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7720 Color Guard joined public safety personnel from Cornelia and Habersham County and the public in honoring Fuller.
“For me personally, it’s a fellow brother finally coming home and being laid to rest,” said Post 7720 Commander Bill Miles. “Most importantly, it’s closure for his family.”
Miles and other post members handed out American flags to children and adults gathered on the bridge.
“As a post, it’s great having all the community come out and show their support,” Miles said. “It shows that patriotism is alive and well in the community, and we need more of that. It was awesome to see the bridge full. I was told the other bridges throughout our county are full also, so that’s awesome.”
Fuller lived in Stephens County when he enlisted in the U.S. Army at age 21.
A member of Company D, 1st Battalion, 38th Infantry Regiment, and 2nd Infantry Division, Fuller was supporting attacks by the Republic of Korea against units of the Chinese People’s Volunteer Forces (CPVF) in the Central Corridor in South Korea. After countless enemy attacks, the U.S. forces on the ground in the Central Corridor withdrew forces to Wonju, South Korea.
Cpl. Fuller was awarded the Purple Heart, the Combat Infantryman Badge, the Korean Service Medal, the United States Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Korean Presidential Unit Citation, and the Republic of Korea War Service Medal. His name is permanently inscribed in the Courts of the Missing at the Honolulu Memorial. A rosette will be placed next to his name to indicate that he has been accounted for.
Between 1990 and 1994, North Korea returned to the United States 208 boxes of commingled human remains, which were later determined to contain the remains of at least 400 U.S. servicemen who died during the war. On May 20, 1990, North Korea turned over five boxes of remains believed to be unaccounted-for servicemen from the war.
Fuller was accounted for on April 13, according to the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
On Friday, Aug. 10, a public visitation will be held from 4-7 p.m. at Acree-Davis Funeral Home at 90 Pond St., Toccoa.
On Saturday, Aug. 11, a private graveside service for Cpl. Fuller with full military honors will be held at 11 a.m. at Stephens Memorial Gardens with the Rev. Jerrell Beatty officiating. In accordance with the family’s wishes, the cemetery will be lined by local Cub Scout packs and military personnel.
The public and veterans may stand in honor along Big A Road that morning but are asked to respect the family’s privacy and stay outside the designated privacy area during the family-only graveside memorial service.