Thomas Jefferson Barksdale took his last breath in a foxhole in North Korea in 1950.
Barksdale was a corporal in the 503rd Field Artillery Battalion of the Armys 2nd Infantry Division. The American troops and U.N. forces were involved in heavy fighting against the Chinese and were eventually forced to withdraw to the south and Barksdale was listed as missing in action following the battle.
His family back in Macon held on to what hope they could, never pushing back from faith that the 21-year-old they called Sugar Boy would one day come walking through the door at his Fort Hill home.
In August 2000, excavation teams from the U.S. and North Korea discovered an isolated human skeleton.
It would take nine years before the remains could be positively identified.
Barksdales remains were flown back to Georgia. A memorial service was held at noon at the Jones Brothers Memorial Chapel in Macon, and he was buried with full military honors at 2:30 p.m. at the Georgia Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Milledgeville.
Sugar Boy has finally come home.
-- Staff reports