A Korean War soldier whose remains were recently identified has been returned home to Pennsylvania 65 years after he was reported missing in action.
The flag-draped coffin carrying the remains of Army Cpl. Martin King arrived Saturday at Harrisburg International Airport to a greeting by an honor guard and a handful of relatives, PennLive.com reported.
During a brief but solemn ceremony, the coffin was loaded into a hearse for transport to Tower City, where a funeral service was planned Monday followed by burial with full military honors at Fort Indiantown Gap.
"We are so happy he finally gets to come home," said an emotional Joan Bohner, whose husband, Richard, is King's maternal nephew.
Gov. Tom Wolf on Friday ordered Pennsylvania and U.S. flags lowered to half-staff in honor of the Tower City native, who was 17 when he enlisted and 18 when he was reported missing in action in November 1950 after being captured by enemy forces near Unsan, North Korea.
Military authorities recently identified his remains from among hundreds of "commingled" remains given to the United States by North Korea in the early 1990s. Documents provided by North Korea with the remains indicated that some were recovered from the area where King was believed to have died.
David Bohner, a great-grand-nephew of King's, said the family is grateful to military authorities for identifying the remains.
"This is a momentous occasion to be bringing home a soldier and a hero," he said.
Other veterans also came to the airport for the ceremony, even though they didn't know the King family.
"We wanted to welcome a brother home," said Tim Smith, who was a tanker with the Army during the Cold War. "We wanted him to have family here. ... We are his volunteer family."