Body of Korean War veteran missing in action for almost 70 years returns to Houston

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- It is a homecoming nearly 70 years in the making. An Army Corporal killed in the Korean War and lost on the battlefield is now a step closer to his final resting place.

The family of Corporal Freddie Lee Henson knew he died on the battlefield, but they always wondered what happened to him and if his body would ever get home.

Today, 67 years after he died fighting in Korea, it's happening.

"It means everything to me," brother of fallen soldier James Henson said.

James and his entire family had waited several years to find out what happened to his brother, Freddie.

In 1950, the family was told Freddie was listed as missing in action in Korea. They never found his body. Then, 54 years later, a United Nations Recovery team found remains of several U.S. soldiers in North Korea and sent them to Hawaii for further identification.

A dozen years went by before James got a phone call asking for a DNA swab. Two years after that, the family found out news they had been waiting for.

"And they went through the DNA and found out he was my brother," James said.

"I have tears welling up because no matter how long it takes, our military is still honored," Freddie's niece, Debra Ojeda said.

Ojeda never met her uncle, but she said nothing could keep her from seeing his return.

"He was so young and so many were and so many still are fighting for our freedom. I am just astounded by the honor that is given him today and all that they are doing, it brings chills," Ojeda said.

Freddie will be buried with full honors at Veterans Memorial Cemetery, a final resting place for a man whose family never stopped fighting for and will never forget.

"He served his country and I think everyone should support the military because they do everything for us, they let us be here," James said.

James said his mother passed away never knowing what happened to his brother, but said she's looking down and smiling knowing that Freddie is home.

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