BOISE, Idaho — On Septemer 17, 1944, while fighting in Germany during World War II, PFC. Lawrence E. Worthen went missing, and 75 year later his remains finally made it home for a proper military burial.
The hero's family, who have been wondering what happened to Worthen for a very long time, were in attendance for the ceremony at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery.
"It's kind of like a euphoria," said Worthen's niece, Vivian Wardwell. "It is a sad occasion, but it is also happy."
Sixteen million Americans fought in World War II and more than 400,000 died helping fuel the allies to a victory while fighting a two-front war in the Pacific and in Europe. However, more than 70,000 soldiers are still unaccounted for.
The Defense Prisoner of War/Missing in Action (POW/MIA) Accounting Agency was able to identify Worthen's remains using dental analysis, chest radio graph comparisons, and other evidence.
It's a big deal for the military and our veterans because one line in the Warriors Ethos states, "I will never leave a fallen comrade."
"This allows us to honor somebody that serves us," said Korean War Veteran, Lyle Frost, who is part of the Patriot Guard Riders. "They gave their life for you, for me and for all of us... Too often people don't know about it."
The military ceremony also brought closure to the family as the military presented PFC. Worthen's sister with the American flag. Worthen was 20 years old when he disappeared in Germany.
"It touches our hearts and it touches my mom's heart," said Glen Terry, a nephew of PFC. Worthen. "These gentlemen that died in these wars gave it all."