Lexington Korean War veteran being immortalized in US Library of Congress

Korean War Veteran 1st Sergeant Richard Owens
Posted at 11:59 AM, Jun 13, 2024

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The lessons to be learned from our military veterans are seemingly infinite.

So much to uncover from their experiences fighting for the freedom of so many.

Each service man and woman has their own story to share in and afterlife, including 1st Sergeant Richard Owens.

Just ask his kids.

“Great person, warm hearted person, kind person. Loved people," Richard's daughter Jamie Owen-Patton said.

“Of course when you ask us about it we all start giggling because he was a comedian, he was a great comedian," Ricahrd's daughter Tracy Owens-Holmes said.

"He was very inspirational. He encouraged me to always strive to be the best I could be, get a good education," Richard's son Robert Murray said.

All of Sergeant Owens' children helped piece together who he was out of uniform while also showcasing everything he did while suited up for our country.

From photos he took while in the service to all of the medals and accolades he earned because of his dedication, the Owens family has gone a nostalgic scavenger hunt to showcase Richard's impact as a Marine during the Korean War.

“We have a sister, Stacy, who lives in Florissant, Missouri. She always listens to talk radio. There was a person from the library of Congress being interviewed about the veteran’s history project. Decided that this might be something we’d be interested in doing," Owens-Patton said.

The Veteran's History Project is an initiative aimed at preserving the stories and impact of former military.

Come Friday, 1st Sergeant Owens will be immortalized in the Library of Congress archive, and four generations of his family will be present to see him honored.

“We have the greatest dad. I don’t care what anybody says, we have the greatest dad. The legacy of it all and just knowing it’s going to be there for a lifetime," Owens-Holmes said.

This moment hits a special cord for the entire family, particularly Robert Murray who was inspired to join the Marines because of his father.

"When I was in bootcamp, he was amazed, saying ‘wow, when I was in boot camp in my platoon out of 60 guys there might have been three blacks. In my platoon of 80 there might have been 40," Murray said.

"He was so proud of that and how far the Marines had evolved as far as integration.”

Acceptance in our military, and our world, is not the same it was when Sergeant Owens served.

Paying homage to a dedicated black patriot adds onto the importance of this ceremony for Owens' family.

“Being a part of that legacy presenting and passing that legacy onto the world is just a great feeling, a great honor and so well deserved," Owens-Patton said.