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Hoosier veteran given a final resting place after 72 years missing in action

MOORESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A Hoosier veteran will be honored with a military funeral after 72 years of missing in action.

Charles Garrigus was a sergeant in the Army when he was tragically killed in battle during the Korean War; he was only 24 years old.

“It’s closure and honestly it’s very gratifying for us to be able to honor him and see how the military and the public, in general, is willing to honor a fallen soldier,” said Will Garrigus, his nephew.

He said his Uncle first served in World War II but decided to reenlist at the start of the Korean War.

“This is really a blessing to be able to get my uncle back and lay him to rest at home while my father is still alive,” Garrigus said. “We were able to pick him up from the airport Tuesday evening. They had quite a caravan of patriot riders as well as police that escorted him back here to the funeral home, and it was a very emotional and happy day really.”

This all started in 2018 when North Korea returned Garrigus’ remains. It took over four years to get a DNA match. The family was notified in October, and his remains arrived in Indiana on March 2.

“With the help of President Trump in 2018 he had a meeting with Kim Jong Un in North Korea and basically requested the remains of soldiers that had that had been killed in the Korean War to be returned to the United States,” Garrigus said.

Garrigus said honoring veterans is important no matter the time it takes to get it done.

“He sacrificed his life for our country for his fellow man,” Garrigus said. “It was explained to me by the military that this is the same funeral procession that they would give to someone that was killed last week in military action and just because it’s been 72 years doesn’t mean he doesn’t warrant it as well.”

The funeral will have full military honors to recognize his sacrifice, including a horse-drawn Army caisson, 21-gun salute, and taps will be played, according to Garrisgus.

The first visitation was on Thursday from 4-8 p.m. There will be a second visitation on Friday at 11 a.m. for one hour before the service at noon. More information can be found on the Jones Family Mortuary website.