Remains of Conn. Soldier Returned Home After 65 Years | NECN
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Remains of Conn. Soldier Returned Home After 65 Years

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    NEWSLETTERS

    James Campbell was 18 when last seen alive but family has been waiting for him (Published Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2016)

    Inside the Byles Memorial Home in New London lie the remains of Sergeant James Campbell, who was killed in North Korea in 1950 and brought home to  Connecticut on Tuesday afternoon.

    Campbell was 18 when he was last seen alive at the battle of Chosin Reservoir in December 1950. But with police escort, Campbell's remains finished a long trip to Connecticut and his family in Waterford.

    "It's very overwhelming," said Brittany Campbell. "We're just glad he's home with us. It's a bittersweet moment. We're sad that his three other brothers can't be here."

    His sister, Doris Smith, was there. The Army said her DNA helped identify Sergeant Campbell from hundreds of soldiers' remains turned over decades ago by North Korea.

    The family says Mrs. Smith doesn't hear very well but relatives spoke for her.

    "My grandmother for many years has talked about she wished she could be here with him,” said Michael Smith. “And so to have this moment actually come true and all the work the Army and all these people have done for us, like Brittany said, is amazing. It's overwhelming."

    Patriot Guard motorcyclists also made the trip from TF Green Airport in Rhode Island to New London.

    Michael Graichen, a Patriot Guard rider, said, "a lot of the times when we're doing the missions, other motorists don't realize what we're doing. All they see is bikes riding in a pack."

    What they did was help a soldier go home with honor, to his family.

    In West Neck Cemetery in Waterford on Friday, Sergeant Campbell will be buried with full military honors.

    "And it's a long time coming but we're just happy that he can be home, and with his family, and his mom and dad," said Brittany Campbell.

    In lieu of flowers, Sergeant Campbell's family is asking that donations be made to the Wounded Warriors Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas, 66675, or Westbrook Honor Guard, c/o Joe Barry, 111 South Edgewood Road, Niantic, CT 06357.

    The Defense Department's POW/MIA Accounting Agency says 7802 Americans remain unaccounted for from the Korean War. Identifications continue.