A Wisconsin soldier reported missing in action during the Korean War will be returning home to be laid to rest.
Army Cpl. Francis J. Rochon, 21, of Superior, was a member of Company C, 1st Battalion, 23rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division.
"70 years ago in July he went to Korea, and 70 years later he's coming back," said Rochon's youngest sister Margaret Rasmussen.
He was reported missing in action on September 1, 1950, near Changnyeong, South Korea.
The Army officially declared Rochon deceased on Dec. 31, 1953, and declared his remains non-recoverable January 16, 1956.
In January 1951, the American Graves Registration Service Group (AGRSG) consolidated the remains from 12 smaller military cemeteries at the newly established United Nations Military Cemetery in Tanggok, South Korea, including one set of remains, which had been recovered from the area where Rochon was last seen.
In 1956, those remains were transported to the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, also known as the
Punchbowl, in Honolulu where they were buried as Unknowns.
For 20 years Rochon's family has been searching for his remains, middle sister Marian Klein said, "Something that we honestly know if we would get to see."
But with the help of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, scientists, and historians used anthropological analysis, circumstantial evidence, and a mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis to identify Rochon's remains.
The sisters got the news about three weeks ago.
"Oh, what does it mean? It means so much really," said Klein.
All three sisters say other families who find themselves waiting for their loved ones just keep praying. "To us, [other families shouldn't] give up the hope," said Klein.
Rochon will be buried July 25, 2020, at the Summit Cemetery in Foxboro, Wisconsin next to his father.