Lahman Bower was born on February 12, 1930, in Hazel Park, Michigan. He enlisted in the U.S. Army on January 15, 1949, and was trained as a Medic. Bower was assigned to the 9th Infantry Regiment of the 2nd Infantry Division, and deployed to Korea after the outbreak of the Korean War, in July 1950. He was captured and taken as a Prisoner of War by the North Koreans on December 1, 1950, and held at the Pyok-Dong POW Camp. After spending 985 days in captivity, he was released during Operation BIG SWITCH on August 11, 1953. Cpl Bower immediately returned to the United States and received an honorable discharge from the Army at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, on October 7, 1953. Lahman Bower died in March 1983 in Detroit, Michigan.
His Letter from the President of the Republic of Korea on the 50th Anniversary of the Outbreak of the Korean War to accompany the award of the Republic of Korea War Service Medal reads:
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War, I would like to offer you my deepest gratitude for your noble contribution to the efforts to safeguard the Republic of Korea and uphold liberal democracy around the world. At the same time, I remember with endless respect and affection those who sacrificed their lives for that cause. We Koreans hold dear in our hearts the conviction, courage and spirit of sacrifice shown to us by such selfless friends as you, who enabled us to remain a free democratic nation. The ideals of democracy, for which you were willing to sacrifice your all 50 years ago, have become universal values in this new century and millennium. Half a century after the Korean War, we honor you and reaffirm our friendship, which helped to forge the blood alliance between our two countries. And we resolve once again to work with all friendly nations for the good of humankind and peace in the world. I thank you once again for your noble sacrifice, and pray for your health and happiness.