VICTORIA, Texas — The Korean War is often referred to as the Forgotten War, but for the families of missing service members, forgetting has never been an option.
Victoria resident Mary Cantu's brother was one of those missing service members. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) said her brother, Adelaido Solis, is finally coming home.
"It was hard for me to get used to the first days when they told me," Mary said. "They keep calling and calling and I didn't believe it really. Then they sent me some papers and I started reading and it's true."
Solis joined the Army in 1950 at 19-years-old, just months later he was declared missing in action.
"They hadn't seen him three or four months, then they had a couple of other army soldiers identify that they saw him in camp 5 in North Korea and that he was dead, and they were taking him out of the camp," Mary's son Lee Cantu said. "That's how they placed him dead in April 1951."
His remains were one of the 652 Korean War unknowns that were housed at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific in Hawaii. In 2018 the DPAA began the process of identifying them and was able to find 98 percent of Solis' body.
"Some of the parts that are missing are the left hand and some digits on the toes," Lee said. "North Korea in 1950 had the worst freeze ever so he probably had frostbite and that's probably why they couldn't find those parts and those remains."
His body will fly into Houston, then be escorted to Victoria. The funeral will be held on October 29th, bringing a hero to his home and closure to his family.
"My mother-in-law was real sick and she told me one day don't worry about it honey, one day he's going to come," Mary said. "When everything is over, he's going to come home, and she was right."
"For the families out there that are still hoping that their family members that are MIA, I wish y'all the best," Lee said. "This is an amazing moment for my mom and his family coming home. Please don't lose faith. We never thought it, but seven decades later and it is happening."