Minnesota soldier's remains returning home after 72 years

- A 97-year old Minnesota man who has waited seven decades for his younger brother to come home from serving in World War II could see that happen by Memorial Day.

For 72 years, all John Sersha's family knew was that he was missing in action - perhaps his body was buried in the same forest in Holland where he battled the Nazis. But three years ago, Paul Sersha was told his brother's remains may have been located in a cemetery in Belgium.

Danny Keay, an independent MIA researcher, is the man who made the discovery and notified the Sersha family. They then asked the U.S. Department of Defense to investigate.

"The height, the size, the location of the loss, they were a match," Keay said. 

The Fox 9 Investigators first profiled the case last May. Congressman Rick Nolan pressured the Pentagon to have the remains exhumed. In January 2016, the grave was disinterred and the remains transported to a military forensics lab in Nebraska. Scientists confirmed it was John.

"I'm very glad that he's coming home," Paul said. "I wish my mother could see this."

Paul always hoped his brother would come home before his own passing. His wife Julie said the news is overwhelming to them.

"All these years I've never seen him cry. And that's how the emotion, the emotions took over. Yeah, he just couldn't get over it," Julie said. 

There's a stone paver at a war memorial in Virginia, Minnesota with John Sersha's name on it. Until now, it was the only local tribute to the young man who died for his country so long ago.
   
The family is planning a funeral for John with full military honors.  They will lay him to rest next to his parents on Memorial Day.


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