CONCORD TOWNSHIP, Ohio - For more than six decades, the family of Pryor Gobble waited patiently by the telephone, hoping someone would call with news of soldier who had gone off to war in 1950.
But the phone did not ring for 62 years. When it did, the voice on the other end of the line confirmed the U.S. government had, indeed, located the remains of Gobble.
But by then, his mother had passed away, as had so many other family members and friends. Army Cpl. Gobble died in battle in December 1950. However, the government could not find his body.
On Wednesday, there was a funeral for the young man who went off to war. His body was buried with military honors.
A funeral for Gobble was held at Chester Christian Assembly of God Church, where Gobble's nephew, the Rev. Stefan J. Sawczak, officiated. At the funeral was Gobble's brother, Glenn, who lives in Mentor.
"It means closure, but after 62 years, we are so thankful that he finally got to come home with us," said Glenn Gobble.
At Concord Township Cemetery, soldiers in dress blue uniforms, fired rifles in salute and tribute. The sun was high on a warm summer day when Gobble's body was laid to rest.
Government records now show Gobble was killed at Chosin Reservoir in Hungnam, North Korea. Between 1990 and 1994, the North Korean government gave the United States 208 boxes of remains believed to contain the remains of 200 to 400 American servicemen killed in the war in Korea in the early 1950s.
Through painstaking DNA examinations, the government was able to identify the remains of Gobble, who went into the Army at age 18. He was born in August 14, 1932, in Jonesville, Va.
"I know of other people that are still in Korea," said Bill Pevec, who did not know Gobble, but knew of his story. Pevec, wearing a red baseball cap with the inscription of the Marines on it, certainly knew the war in Korea. He served there, too. "A lot of my buddies are still there and I would love to see them come back," he said, his voice choking with emotion.
The casket bearing the body of Cpl. Gobble was draped with the American flag. As soldiers held the flag over the casket, and folded it into triangle, they presented the flag to Gobble's brother, who cradled it under his arm.
The bugler sounded "Taps." Pryor Gobble was finally home.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
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