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Family of veteran says they finally get closure 70 years later

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    GEORGE, Iowa (KCCI) — An Iowa soldier missing in action for 70 years will soon be laid to rest.

Army Cpl. Eldert J. Beek, 20, was presumed dead on Dec. 1, 1950, when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir, North Korea. Following the battle, his remains could not be recovered.

Beek’s family says they held out hope for seven decades he would return to the family home in George, Iowa.

“I know my parents and my grandparents would every day hope that the knock at the door would have been Eldie coming home,” said Beek’s niece, Cindy Brey.

Brey was just 3 years old when her uncle shipped off to serve in the Korean War.

In 2018, North Korea delivered 55 boxes of human remains as part of a deal with the Trump administration.

Beek’s family recently learned his remains were identified.

To identify Beek’s remains, scientists from Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) used anthropological analysis, as well as circumstantial evidence. Scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System also used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) analysis.

“This is almost like a celebration. We know he is in heaven. He’s waiting for us. We know now what’s happened and we have a story. We have a finish,” Brey said.

Brey says she wishes her father was still alive to see his younger brother be laid to rest.

“Even up to his last days the conversation was ‘If Eldie comes home tell him I love him. Sure daddy I will,'” Brey said.

Beeks will be laid to rest on Flag Day, June 14, in George, Iowa. He will be buried next to his mother and father. His six nieces and their families will be in attendance.

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