GEORGE, Iowa (KTIV) - Seventy years after Army Corporal Eldert J. Beek of Sibley, Iowa was killed while serving in the Korean War, he has finally been returned home to his family.
"Everyone agrees on one thing, that he really was a hero," said Paxten Janssen, Beek's great great nephew.
Corporal Beek grew up in a small town called George in Lyon County, Iowa. He joined the military at the age of 19.
He was just 20 years old when he died in action during the Battle of Chosin Reservoir while serving our country, and remained unidentified for decades.
"I'm hoping the American people, the towns people will understand what he has done for our country and sacrificing his life, and giving us that chance for freedom and the opportunities we have in this country," said Jim Clark, State Captain of Iowa's Patriot Guard Riders.
Thursday, Beek's remains were escorted by members of the Iowa State Patrol and South Dakota Highway Patrol, and the Patriot Guard Riders from Iowa and South Dakota.
Beek's relatives, including his niece Marcia Schniedermann and his great great nephew Paxten Jansse,n also welcomed him home.
They reminisced on what an amazing and loving man Beek was.
"Uncle Eldie loved us all," said Marcia Schniederman. "He is a very special person,".
And after 70 years, Schniederman said it was time for him to come home.
"And I know he's a piece, he's totally at peace," added Schniederman.
Schniederman said Beek will be buried alongside his parents in a cemetery in George.
Beek will be laid to rest on Monday, June 14, at Evergreen Cemetery in George.