A fallen World War II soldier has finally returned home to his family in Oklahoma City after being buried in an “unknown soldier” grave in Belgium for the past 75 years.
Army Private Archie Fleeman served as a stretcher-bearer for wounded troops during WWII.
He was reported missing in action on November 11, 1944, when he was killed at just 19 years old near Hurtgen, Germany in what they believe was a landmine. Unfortunately, his body was never identified, and they believe it may be because he had someone else’s dog tags.
Just when his family thought he would never be identified, the Army contacted Fleeman’s niece, Rosalee Snook, and asked for her DNA.
Six years later, after more of Fleeman’s family sent in their DNA, they were finally able to identify him using circumstantial evidence and other analysis.
After 75 years, Fleeman would finally be returning home to his family where he belongs.
His remains landed at Will Rogers World Airport, where Snook and his nephew, Tobie Fleeman, were waiting for him.
When Fleeman landed, an honor guard was present, and he received a true hero’s welcome as fire trucks used their cannons to give him a water salute.
This moment was extremely emotional for Fleeman’s niece and nephew, who were both raised by their grandmother, Fleeman’s mother.
“It’s been so many years. When grandma was alive, she always wanted him home,” Tobie told Koco News. “And now that he’s home, we’re going to put him next to her.”
Fleeman will be buried alongside his mother at Sunny Lane Cemetery in Del City.
Watch Fleeman’s warm welcome in the video below:Whizzco