Nearly 8,000 Americans who served in the Korean War remain unaccounted for.
Arkansas had the rare privilege today to lower that number by one.
He was long gone but not forgotten...despite the fact that Corporal Marvin Omans went missing in action and was presumed killed in action more than 60 years ago.
"I'm sure that Corporal Omans...as well as many soldiers who have given their lives for this country...their last thoughts were of home," offers Rev. Scott Cox to those gathered to honor Omans, who was killed on December 3rd, 1950 in Sinhung-ri, North Korea. "I'm sure he thought of his mother and his father. Of his brother...and of his sisters."
A sister like Dorothy Martin of Pine Bluff...who six weeks ago got the news she has waited over six decades to hear: the remains of her brother had been positively identified.
Her little brother was 16 the last time Dorothy saw him.
"He only had five days home and then he was gone," recalls Martin. "And that's the last he was in the States. He went to San Francisco and shipped out there. Went to Japan and then he went to North Korea."
In the crowd there is another picture of another soldier held by another aging woman.
Bennie Heard of North Little Rock says her brother, Sgt. James Herman Pylate, died the same week as Corporal Omans in the same region of North Korea.
Sgt. Pylate was 18 at the time...and he too has a sister hoping to close an open wound.
"I'm just so happy for them because every time I hear of a new person who has had this luck I hope that it will be me next." says Ms. Heard.
Ms. Hearn gets more encouragement from Gordon Gregson of Jacksonville, who served in the same region of North Korea in December of 1950.
"I just happened to be in the area where...it was so cold," recalls Gregson. "I froze but they were able to get me out. We lost a lot of folks over there."
"We thank you for those who have worked for decades to make sure every soldier is accounted for," prays Rev. Cox. "And pray that one day all will be home."
"I know where he is at now," says Martin about her brother. "I didn't before."
Dorothy Martin and her son submitted blood samples for DNA testing 25 years ago...so it was quite a surprise to get word last month that there was a match...and the Corporal would be coming home.
Air date: June 24th, 2013
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