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Missing soldier is returned to final Montana resting place - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Missing soldier is returned to final Montana resting place

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Missing in action since 1950, Sgt. First Class Harold Haugland's remains are finally back in Montana. (MTN News photo) Missing in action since 1950, Sgt. First Class Harold Haugland's remains are finally back in Montana. (MTN News photo)
BOZEMAN -

Missing in action since 1950, Sgt. First Class Harold Haugland's remains are finally back in Montana.

"Harold was my first boyfriend,” said Margaret Blair, who would go on to marry Sgt. Haugland’s brother.

Because he would be almost 90 years old now, few people remain that actually knew him are still living.

"We were sixteen years old, he worked for my dad on the ranch," Blair said. "I always, always wondered what happened to him, I'd dream about him you know and it was just like he was right there. So, there was no closure, he was still alive to me,"

On Saturday, friends, and family finally had the chance to formally say goodbye to the soldier who went missing at just 22-years-old.

"We had hoped a long time ago that he would be here when they thought they found his remains and they didn't and then when we finally got the call that they did, it was a big relief,” said Darrell Haugland, Sgt. Haugland’s nephew.

"It's happy to know that he's resting," said Blair.

Sgt. Haugland does have one surviving brother, who was not in attendance.

Finding Sgt. Haugland meant sharing stories that hadn't been told in years, and he was repeatedly described as a “typical Haugland.”

"He was just a lot of, they played a lot of pranks on each other and that kind of stuff, you know, but they were hardworking people," Darrell Haugland said.

"He wasn't really the cowboy type but he loved everybody and he was always fixing things, everything that needed to be fixed, he was fixing it, my family really liked Harold. He loved everybody,” Blair said.

The service consisted of full military honors, including the 21 gun salute and the burial flags.

"He was really the only one that was in the military, so I'm really impressed with all of the support we had from the military," Darrell Haugland said.

Although Sgt. Haugland had been missing for several decades, the military still covered the cost of the funeral because he was a soldier killed in action.

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