A society of veterans of one of America's most terrible battles has elected the Marine Lance Cpl. Dion James Stephenson, killed during the Persian Gulf war, to honorary membership.

The Chosin Few of Utah, whose members fought in the Korean War's Battle of Chosin Reservoir in November and December, 1950, decided to make Stephenson a posthumous member "because of the bravery and patriotism he displayed in representing his country," said Jerry Eitner of the veterans group.Stephenson, the first Utahn killed in the Persian Gulf conflict, fought in a tank engagement at Khafji, Saudi Arabia, on Jan. 30, when his vehicle was apparently hit by a missile.

His family, the James Stephensons of Bountiful, will receive an honorary membership plaque at a special dinner and awards ceremony Friday, May 24, at Fort Douglas Military Club.

"It was a little more than 40 years ago that members of our group were sent to Korea to join the first multinational forces," said John Cole, president of the Chosin Few of Utah. "We too were young, patriotic and adventuresome, and we faced a situation similar to that faced by Dion, a power-hungry dictator with delusions of capturing and enslaving all of Korea.

"Dion has shown the courage and determination that was shown by many of our Korean War-era heroes. He was a Marine any of us would have been proud to have served with."