Remains of soldier missing since 1950 identified, returned to family for funeral

James Constant served in Korean War

BEECH GROVE, Ind. - A central Indiana family has been waiting decades to hear the whereabouts of a 19-year-old soldier who went missing during a battle in the Korean War.

The remains of Pfc. James Constant finally made it home, 63 years later. The remains were in storage in Hawaii until recently being identified with the help of DNA.

A military honor guard welcomed Constant back to Indianapolis on Wednesday, and the Patriot Guard Riders escorted him to Beech Grove, where his family lives.

Sfc. Nathan Hepfer wants to stand with the family during the funeral.

"Every service member's service means something. Every one of them," he said. "Somebody had to explain to the family how much we appreciate not only his sacrifice but his family's sacrifice."

Hepfer feels a connection to Constant since both served in the same Army regiment, decades apart.

"It's like someone I served with. It's like a family member coming home," Hepfer said.

Little and Sons funeral home is handling all the arrangements for the soldier at Beech Grove High School Saturday.
Visitation is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The funeral is at 1 p.m., with full military honors.

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