“It’s a long wait let me tell you,” Remains of fallen military soldier returned to Oklahoma family

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OKLAHOMA CITY - It's a homecoming that took more than 60 years for one Oklahoma family.

“It's a long wait let me tell you. It's a long, long wait,” said Linda Southerland.

The remains of Army Corporal Melvin R. Hill returned home to Oklahoma.

Hill was about 19 years old when it was assumed he was killed in action while fighting in the Korean War.

His only surviving family is relieved knowing he can finally be buried alongside family.

“This is such an honor to get to be here and see all these people here to bring him finally home to rest,” said Southerland.

Hill's great nieces were born after Hill was declared dead in 1953.

So, all they know about him are stories from their father, who has since passed away.

“My dad wanted to bring him home. He was the one that really got into the start of this and we're glad we got to carry it out for him,” said Thressa Bland.

Hill was returned back to the state with honor.

Members of the Military, Oklahoma City Police and firefighters took part in this dignified transfer.

Also involved, the Patriot Guard Riders. Bikers who have been showing their respect to fallen service members and their families for almost a decade.

“It's real important for us to make sure the family knows that there are people who care about their loved one,” said Phil Lutes.

Many of the bikers escorted hill from the airport to the funeral home in Chickasha.

“It's our honor to be able to stand in their honor,” said Ray Gehrig.

There are still more than 7,700 American remains that haven't been identified from the Korean War. Southerland says to those families, don`t give up.

“But just hang in there. We didn't think it would happen and here it comes.”

Army Corporal Melvin R. Hill will be buried February 4, 2017,  in Alex, Oklahoma.

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