SARASOTA (FOX 13) - The family of Master Sgt. Charles J. Brown Jr. waited decades for this moment.
Brown was just 20 years old and serving in the Korean War when he went missing in 1950.
Reports said his regiment was attacked and surrounded. Many of the soldiers were captured and taken to POW camps, but his name was never listed. Three years later, the military declared Sgt. Brown deceased.
"Today was a day to honor their brother and his faithful service to our country," said John Rosentrater of the Sarasota National Cemetery. "For 66 years they have waited for this day once they knew their brother was killed in action."
Brown's remains are among those of 600 U.S. service members handed over by North Korea since 1990.
It has taken years to separate and identify the co-mingled remains, which were shipped to the U.S in boxes.
"For those veterans to be now identified and brought to a final resting place is very, very important," said Rosentrater.
Sgt. Brown was identified after his sister provided a DNA sample. Today, his remains were laid to rest at the Sarasota National Cemetery.
Friends, family and strangers all joined together.
"When we first saw it on the news, I made some phone calls. We were here; this is what we do," said Bob Woods of the Nam Knights of Englewood
Woods works to honor all veterans and said this was a special day.
"It is amazing. You can't help but feel for the family who grew up without their brother. No words can say what you feel for the family," he continued.
Now, after 66 years, there is finally some relief to so many years of heartaches.
"It is a closure in a chapter in their lives, where their loved one that they know will now be honorably buried here and will be honored for the rest of time," added Rosentrater.