A U.S. soldier from Red Oak who was declared Missing In Action in the Korean War, and whose body was recently returned to the U.S. by North Korea, was honored in a ceremony at State Capitol on Friday.
Nearly 70 years after being killed in action in 1950 during the Korean War, U.S. Army PFC. William “Hoover” Jones has returned home.
“I’m just humbled,” said Jones’ nephew Gregory Ohree. “I’m glad he’s here to be honest with you. It’s been a long time.”
The native of Red Oak in Nash County went missing in action in November 1950. Time reports it is believed he was killed in a surprise attack.
Jones’ remains weren’t returned home until North Korea turned over the remains of 55 soldiers during a summit between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un.
“I’m trying not to get emotional about this because there’s been a lot going on. I’m very thankful for all of the people who took the time to do all of this,” said Ohree.
Patriot Guard Assistant State Captain Charles Bullock made sure Jones had a heroes welcome home.
“It’s closure for the family,” said Bullock.
“I saw the flags and the motorcycles,” said Ohree. “It’s a beautiful day. It’s awesome to see all of these Patriot Guard’s that take the time to pay their respect to my uncle.”
Nationwide there are still thousands of service members listed as missing in action.
“Everybody should be accounted for,” said Bullock.
That’s why Ohree and the Patriot Guard have one message for their loved ones.
“My heart goes out to them,” said Ohree. “I just hope they stay strong, and continue to believe, because one day their loved one will come home.”
“There’s always hope,” said Bullock.
Hope that Jones will continue to personify as he lies in honor at the North Carolina Capitol on Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gov. Roy Cooper also ordered flags be flown at half-staff sunrise to sunset on Friday in honor of Jones.
His family placed a tombstone at a Baptist church in Whitakers as a way to mourn him. But in August, Jones remains will be buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery.