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A soldier's remains brought home 60 years after missing in war

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Updated: 9/23/2013 9:52 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- A final goodbye was said Monday for a fallen soldier with a send-off that was long over-due.

News 3's Denise Rosch has the story of a Korean War serviceman whose remains are finally home 60 years after he went missing in combat.

It's a ceremony 63 years waiting for Sgt. Melvin Wolfe.

This was a funeral services for a man who died long ago on the battlefield in North Korea. He was an 18-year-old soldier from San Diego who is now at peace in the Boulder City Veterans Cemetery.

“I remember playing with him. Riding on the handlebars of his bike,” said his nephew Lewis Stephens.

Stephens is one of the last surviving family members of Sgt. Wolfe who was missing in action since December of 1950. His remains only recently recovered, identified, and sent home for burial.

“I have a tendency to be a little sad, but then I tell myself it's not sad, it's a time to be happy he's finally coming home,” Stephens said.

Several dozen local veterans, people who never knew Sgt. Wolfe, were there to say good-bye. They grieve just the same.

"If he was in the service anywhere, from the Civil War until yesterday, he's my brother,” said John Rupe from American Legion Post 149.

“It's really something special that's what all of our organizations are doing trying to ensure we get all of our fallen back,” said Bob Garlow of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

But while Sgt. Wolfe is now home, so many others remain missing. An estimated 77,000 servicemen and women are unaccounted for in foreign lands. To those families Stephens says never give up hope.

“I'm very thankful our government goes to all this trouble and doesn't forget the people that were lost over there,” Stephens said.

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