Some service members who go missing during overseas conflicts are never heard from again, so there's a bittersweet sense of closure when the remains of a previously unidentified military member can be returned home for a proper burial.

Resting place discovered
According to The Washington Post, a painstaking process of searching and inquiry led an Army recovery team to a grave site in North Korea in 2005. The burial place contained the body of an American soldier, who was identified as Wayne Minard after DNA testing based on results from two of his sisters. Minard went missing in 1950 and now his body will return to Kansas for a proper burial after 65 years.

The source explained that the burial site yielded more remains, with two other soldiers who served alongside Minard interred there, as well as 30 other individuals. The encounter that led to Minard's capture was fought on November 25, 1950, but he never officially appeared on a prisoner of war list. His death was confirmed by repatriated prisoners in 1951.

Now, family back home will finally get to give Wayne Minard a burial with full military honors in his hometown. These family members had assumed they would never know for sure where he was buried, according to The Washington Post. Some of those who will attend the funeral, such as great-nephew Bruce Stubbs, never had the chance to know him while he was alive.

"There are still 7,784 Americans unaccounted for from the Korean War alone."

Efforts to bring the remains of military members from past conflicts home for burial are painstaking and difficult, and the amount of work ahead is daunting. According to the news source, there are still 7,784 Americans unaccounted for from the Korean War alone. Having no records of what became of these individuals can take a toll back home. Stubbs noted that family members close to Minard thought about him throughout their lives.

Wake attracts vets of all eras
In another instance of an identification after decades, the body of Roy C. Fink was laid to rest in Amherst, New York. The Buffalo News reported that veterans of other conflicts turned out for the service. Despite never knowing Fink when he lived, they were drawn by a sense of kinship and the hope that he is merely one of many previously missing or unidentified war dead who will someday be identified and offered a proper burial. Like Minard, Fink was identified by DNA tests of relatives, in this case his nephew Paul DeFrain. Fink's remains were found at the site of the Battle of Chosin Reservoir, fought in 1950.

DeFrain explained to the source that it was touching to interact with the 65 people who attended the wake. Family members got the chance to say goodbye properly to someone many of them never had the chance to know when he was alive, and the vets who attended were able to share a moment of connection. Vietnam veteran Patrick B. Kavanagh gave DeFrain a patch and hat from the division Fink served in to strengthen the bond between nephew and uncle. Hopefully, many more such ceremonies will be possible as the missing are identified and laid to rest with proper honors.