Fmr. “Unknown Soldier” completes 68-year journey home to Fort Benning

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FORT BENNING, Ga. (WRBL) –  A Columbus son and soldier who was killed in action in the Korean War completes a 68-year journey home to his final resting place at Fort Benning.

The hero’s homecoming for Sergeant First Class James Streetman Junior is nearly seven decades in the making. With full military honors Streetman was laid to rest in his hometown of Columbus on Saturday.

“I didn’t know if I would actually live to see this day, but I wanted it so bad,” said his baby sister, Sharon Streetman Ray.

During the service, Streetman’s family was given his Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster for sacrificing his blood for his country. Streetman was killed in action on July 22nd, 1950.

“He was a wonderful person, very personable, very caring he was a very good soldier,” said Streetman Ray.

Streetman and 847 soldiers lay unknown at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii until 2018 when his remains were identified.

“Now I have him home, it has been a very long 68-years,” said Streetman.

A Celebration of Life Service welcomed this former unknown soldier home to those who love him including many who never even met him.

“He would be pleased the affection the people hold for him, even though they didn’t know him. I love having him back in Georgia dirt. He was born here and needed to come back here,” said his sister.

Sgt. First Class James Streetman Junior say they are thankful to every single person who played a role in bringing him home. Now, they look forward to visiting with him at Fort Benning’s Cemetery and leaving flowers at his grave.

The Streetman family tells News 3 they hope their 68-year journey offers comfort and hope to other military families who are still trying to locate their loved ones who’s whereabouts remain unknown after giving their life for their country.

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