CORINTH, MS (WMC) - A United States Army veteran killed during the Korean War finally returned home Wednesday
Sgt. Julius E. McKinney of Clay, Arkansas, was 23 when he was killed while serving his country.
McKinney was reported missing in action on Dec. 2, 1950, during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir.
"They called and said it would be almost impossible to find him because of the way the North Koreans gave us the bodies back," nephew Bill Huff said.
McKinney's family never gave up hope.
They only had one photo of McKinney in uniform. That photo became a priceless reminder of the honorable man they lost in 1950.
"His picture sat in my living room all of my growing up years. And it sat in my living room until my mother died 2006. She never let his memory die. He was part of our family that was missing," niece Joyce Tanner said.
For years the family feared Sgt. McKinney was a prisoner of war. But on March 14, 2018 they got the call that DNA testing coupled with other evidence, confirmed bones recovered from North Korea in October 2004 near that battle site belonged to Sgt. McKinney.
"It is just so exciting to know a portion of his remains were found and we can bring closure to this," Joyce said.
Sgt. McKinney will be taken to Corinth, Mississippi, to be buried with full military honors.
Today, 7,702 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War.