ELMIRA, NY (WETM)- After 70 years of being unidentified, the remains of a Korean War soldier were finally brought home to be laid to rest next to his mother.

Buffalo Native, Corporal Robert Agard Jr., a member of the 2nd Platoon, 24th Reconnaissance Company, 24th Infantry Division, was 19 years old when he was reported missing in action back on July 19th, 1950. He and his unit were preforming a night recon patrol near Taejon, South Korea. In January of 1956 he was declared non-recoverable as he was never found, nor could any remains be identified as Agards.

In December of 1950, a set of remains, designated X-311 Taejon was found, along with remains of two members in Agard’s unit. However, X-311 remains could not be identified at the time. They wouldn’t be identified until September 29th, 2020.

“We’re just thrilled that we’ve got him back… it’s very emotional,” says Agards senior cousin, Gloyd ‘Dene’ Kimball.

Kimball was at the McInerny Funeral Home today to welcome Agard back home. He says it’s difficult to talk about this moment without almost breaking down. When he got the call that Agard’s remains were found, he couldn’t believe it.

“Well, let’s put it this way, when I learned that they had matched the DNA, they couldn’t picked me up off the floor,” says Kimball, “this is a real homecoming and a real family gathering and thank God for the US Army and the fact they never gave up,” says Kimball.

Assistant State Captain for the Patriot Guard Riders of NYS, Nigel Heaton says it’s an honor to be apart of this special day.

“It’s paying back to those who stood for us, and it’s something that most of us do, because it comes straight from the heart,” says Heaton.

His remains will be buried May 27th at 11 a.m. at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, where his mother Gertrude Agard is.