NORFOLK, Va. (WVEC) -- It's a true-life tale of the U.S. military leaving no man behind.
Wednesday, the remains of a Korean War soldier returned to Hampton Roads.
It was a 7,000-mile journey that took more than six-and-a-half decades to make.
An American Airlines jet bore the remains that had been classified as "unidentified" and designated in a mass grave in Hawaii as "Unknown X-14160."
In 2013, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency exhumed the remains. DNA testing conclusively proved they were those of Army Corporal Louis Damewood of Carroll County, Maryland.
The Korean War prisoner of war was just 21 when he died.
Fort Story-based Fort Eustis Casualty Assistance Honor Guard was there to welcome Damewood at Norfolk International Airport.
"Oh, it's absolutely a miracle," said niece Barbara Vogt of Newport News, who was just 11 years old when she lost her uncle. "This is absolutely the most wonderful day. He is finally coming home."
"It just makes me proud to be an American, to be honest," said Vogt's son, John.. "I didn't know him, but he served our country, and he deserves to be laid to rest next to people who loved him."
Damewood will be buried with full military honors at the Albert G. Horton, Junior Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk on Friday at 11 a.m.
The military says to this day, 7,751 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.
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