After nearly 70 years, killed Korean War soldier brought home to be buried

His family searched for decades to find out how he died.


Roger Lee Woods was 18 years old when he went off to war. He was a boyish-looking Ohio teen who liked to box.

He would never see 19.

Recently, under a bright summer sun, his remains were finally returned to his native Ohio, escorted by police and a long line of motorcycles past strangers who stood respectfully waving American flags.

"The van was full of tissues," said Judy Allen, a niece. "Everybody was just crying. It's such an honor of what, how this community has come together for this. You know, to bring my uncle home after 69 years that we didn't know where he was."

She was 2 years old when her uncle was declared missing in action. He was presumed to have been killed in a Korean War battle July 29, 1950.

His family searched for decades to find out how he died. His remains were finally able to be returned home after DNA technology conclusively identified him.

A nonprofit called the Korean War Project helps to exhume, examine and test the remains of unidentified soldiers.

Thousands of them are believed to be buried at the Punchbowl Cemetery in Hawaii.

Over the next seven years, there will be efforts made to bring about the same kind of closure the remaining members of the Woods family are experiencing now.

His parents and immediate family have all since died, but Woods will be buried next to his parents and siblings.

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