BAILEY, Colo. - It’s a phone call that changed Bailey resident Joann Mueller’s life.
"I just sat there. I was kind of numb,” said Mueller.
The remains of her uncle, Army Sgt. Floyd James Robert Jackson, of Littleton, Colo., had been found at a military facility in Hawaii.
"The emotion just came out and I just started crying," she said.
Sgt. Jackson served as an Infantryman in Headquarters Company, 3rd Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division. He was captured on Dec. 12, 1950 and died at POW Camp One on the Yalu River on Feb. 3, 1951. His remains were not identified until December 2013.
DNA samples from Joann and her relatives along with dental records secured the match.
"In a way I think he was trying to tell God that he wanted to come home.”
The family was recently presented with medals honoring Sgt. Jackson’s service. He was posthumously awarded the Prisoner of War Medal, National, his Combat Infantryman Badge, the Korean Service Medal, Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation, United Nations Service Medal, Republic of Korea War Service Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, and the Purple Heart.
"How do you want your uncle to be remembered?” asked 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart.
"He looked like he was a happy guy, he made friends easily. He loved his family," said Mueller.
Sgt Jackson will be buried this weekend in the same cemetery as his relatives -- at Olinger Chapel Hill Cemetery in Centennial -- an experience Joann will share with her own sons and grandchildren
"This is closure for us. It's kind of nice," she said.
A prisoner of war whose sacrifice was always remembered by his country. "Never forgotten.. That's their motto," said Mueller.
The public is invited to participate in his graveside funeral with Full US Army Honors on Saturday, March 7, at 10 a.m. at Olinger Chapel Hill Cemetery, 6601 South Colorado Blvd. in Centennial.