Korean War soldier identified

January 13, 2009 3:59:56 PM PST
After nearly 60 years closure comes for a South Jersey woman It took a long time, but there is finally closure for a South Jersey woman whose brother never came home from the Korean War.

"We can all relax then and not worry about him."

Keeping her composure is hard for 78-year-old Bobbie Espey of Mt. Laurel. For decades she and her family have wondered about her brother Army Sgt. Dougall Espey, who was killed in the Korean War in 1950. They had no body to bury and no funeral but now, almost 60 years later, his remains have been identified and he is finally coming home.

"When you do know finally yes, he's dead and these are his bones it puts an end to the process of grieving," Bobbie said.

Sonny, as he was called, was just 21-years-old and in Korea for just 6 weeks when he was killed.

"When they started doing the identifying and getting remains from North Korea then we had hope he might at some point be identified. Now he's coming home, part of him."

Through DNA testing a partial set of bones recovered has been positively identified as Sgt. Espey's. And an extensive report issued to the family details how a miraculous medal, a wallet and a watch found with the remains are believed to be his. Also turned over to the family are Espey's Army dog tags, something tangible for Bobbie to hold in her hands.

"It was strange because I know he'd worn them. They'd been around his neck."

Sgt. Espey will be buried with full military honors at a funeral in New York state April 3rd. Bobbie said she planned it that way. It would have been her brother's 80th birthday.

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