ATLANTA - Almost 70 years after he disappeared during the Korean War, an Army sergeant from Georgia is finally home.
Two of his brothers and more family members were at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to see their loved one home.
Channel 2's Lori Wilson was invited to the emotional homecoming for Army Sgt. Billy Joe Maxwell.
The flag-draped casket arrived in the Delta cargo building – a moment a local family has been waiting for for decades.
Maxwell disappeared while fighting in Korea on Nov. 30, 1950.
"He actually went missing 14 months before I was born, but I've heard about him all my life," said Maxwell's niece, Barbara Lassiter.
For the Maxwell family, tears flowed for a fallen soldier, their hero, who gave the ultimate sacrifice decades ago.
- Roommate now in custody, charged with murder of Clark Atlanta student
- 32-year-old manager killed in chemical incident at Buffalo Wild Wings
- Man arrested in missing college student's disappearance
"Some gave some and some gave all. That is so true, and we still have soldiers that we need to bring home," Lassiter said.
On this week before Veterans Day, Maxwell's family wished more relatives were still around to share this special moment.
"We just wish this could have happened sooner when some of the close family members were still alive," Lassiter said.
The family said they were extremely grateful to the president who helped facilitate his return.
"Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you Donald Trump, we appreciate it so much," Lassiter said.
The family wants to encourage others who have missing family members to reach out to their local military branch office and find out how to provide a DNA sample.
Funeral services were held for Maxwell in Hoganville on Saturday.
© 2019 Cox Media Group.