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Michigan family to receive remains of soldier nearly 70 years after going MIA

‘I was speechless,’ Tom Hill said

DETROIT – Tom Hill said he was caught off guard receiving a phone call from the army that was long overdue.

After nearly 70 years, his brother Sgt. Jessie Douglas Hill, is finally coming home to his final resting place to be with his family once and for all.

“Getting a phone call like that was best thing in the world for us. I was speechless. I really was,” Tom Hill said.

Back in December of 1950 Sgt. Jessie Douglas Hill was listed as MIA from the Korean War during a battle with his unit. Tom Hill was only 10 years old at the time.

“I remember him distinctly. He was a great brother. I carry a bracelet. I’ve been wearing it for a long time with his name and everything all about him,” Tom Hill said.

Sgt. Jessie Douglas Hill was never listed as a prisoner of war, nor was he believed to have died on the battlefield. Sadly, his mother didn’t live long enough to at least find some closure in her son’s disappearance.

“She waited all the time. She said, ‘I’m just waiting for him to call me,’” Tom Hill said.

Thanks to DNA technology, his family is happy to remember what he’s done for his country knowing they’ll soon be able physically reunite with a man who put everything on the line for his nation’s freedom -- the best news to learn right before Memorial Day.

“My birthday was yesterday and it was the best birthday present I ever and will ever receive, along with the memorial weekend. I mean, who can ask for anything better,” Tom Hill said.

As of right now, the Hill family has yet to receive the Sgt. Jessie Douglas Hill’s remains. Because of delays due to COVID-19, it looks like that won’t happen until about August.