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After decades, missing soldier killed during Korean War to be brought back to Arizona

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Posted at 11:39 AM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-24 14:50:36-04

A missing Arizona soldier who was killed during the Korean War was accounted for this past year and is set to return to Arizona.

The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) said Tuesday that Army Sgt. 1st Class Frank G. Vejar, 19, of Douglas, Arizona was accounted for April 14, 2020.

His family recently received a full briefing on his identification following decades of his unknown status.

In late 1950, Vejar was part of the Heavy Mortar Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

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On Nov. 30, 1950, Vejar was reported missing in action when his unit was attacked by enemy forces near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.

His remains were not recovered after the battle.

After the summit between former President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June 2018, North Korea turned over 55 boxes that allegedly contain the remains of American service members killed during the Korean War.

On August 1, 2018, the remains arrived at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii where they were assessed for identification.

Scientists used anthropological analysis, mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and autosomal DNA (auSTR) analysis along with circumstantial evidence to identify Vejar's remains.

His name is recorded at Honolulu's Courts of the Missing at the National Memorial Cemetery. A rosette is expected to be added next to his name to indicate he was accounted for.

Although a date is yet to be determined, Vejar will be brought back to Arizona and buried in his hometown of Douglas.