TV journalist and veteran news anchor Laurie Dhue witnessed a moving scene on Tuesday that left her in tears.
Dhue explained in an Instagram post that she was at the airport traveling from Atlanta, Georgia, to Syracuse, New York, when she saw the U.S. military welcoming home the remains of a soldier who died in battle decades ago — a solemn ceremony that truly moved her.
“Everyone on our #Atlanta to Syracuse flight had the privilege of witnessing a solemn ceremony today for #Army Cpl. Joseph Trepasso, who was just was 20 when he died during the #KoreanWar … battle in December, 1950,” she wrote. “His remains were discovered earlier this year and he finally got his hero’s welcome after 66 years.”
Dhue shared a photo showing Trepasso’s flag-draped casket surrounded with members of the U.S. military paying their respects. She said the soldier’s family was nearby on the tarmac waiting to receive Trepasso’s remains for burial.
“It was an honor to see this and I can assure you I wasn’t the only one crying,” Dhue continued. “Thank you, sir, for your service … and thank you to all current and former #military serving the #USA.”
Everyone on our #atlanta to Syracuse flight had the privilege of witnessing a solemn ceremony today for #army Cpl. Joseph Trepasso, who was just was 20 when he died during the #koreanwar a battle in December, 1950. His remains were discovered earlier this year and he finally got his hero's welcome after 66 years. His family was on the tarmac receiving the remains for burial nearby. It was an honor to see this and I can assure you I wasn't the only one crying. Thank you, sir, for your service… and thank you to all current and former #military serving the #usa
A story on Syracuse.com confirmed that Trepasso, who was from Fulton, New York, was just 20 years old when he was initially declared missing in action in December 1950. It wasn’t until 2001 that an excavation of the Chosin Reservoir battle site led experts to his remains.
After 10 years of DNA testing, Trespasso’s remains have been returned and a full military funeral will be held on Nov. 5, with the soldier finally being laid to rest nearly seven decades after he died for his country, according to an obituary published by Foster Funeral Home, Inc.
Trepasso served with the L Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment., 7th Infantry Division, and received the Purple Heart Medal, the Combat Infantryman Badge, among other medals.
The soldier’s family expressed elation over the fact that their relative would finally be coming home.
“We’ve been waiting all these years. I’m tickled to death to have him,” Trepasso’s nephew, Milan Hubbard, told WSYR-TV. “It’s a sad situation but it’s the gayest thing for the family because we’re all happy he’s coming back.”
Unfortunately, Trepasso is far from the only soldier from the Korean War to remain unaccounted for, as the whereabouts of 7,786 Americans are still unknown. Despite this tragic reality, recovery teams continue to identify remains.
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