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World War II veteran laid to rest in Miramar

Posted: 7:36 PM, Aug 14, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-14 22:36:48-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A hero’s homecoming 75 years in the making. Wednesday, a World War II Marine killed in action was laid to rest at Miramar National Cemetery.

"To all my fellow marines who gave their all the world is free because of you, God rest your soul."

Up until now Nancy Lee lived a lifetime of not knowing - not knowing her older brother Staff Sergeant Wesley Kroenung, and not knowing what happened to him at war.

"You can only imagine the sacrifice they made that day."

Kroenung was a combat cameraman, just 25 years old when he died during the Battle of Tarawa, moments after landing.

His remains left on the island, listed as unknown… leaving an irreparable wound for his father and family back home.

"He was never the same, I never knew him as a happy man. I know every family affected like this feels like this."

But decades later Lee held onto hope for answers, submitting a DNA sample to the military.
Not long after, the answers came in a phone call.

"When I got that call, I'm so thankful and think of every family, the sis happening all over, every family now knowing the truth, and it means a whole lot."

And now a proper homecoming for his final resting place.

"Complete strangers, they don't know anyone in the family, they just know he served his country, he died and is being brought home, it's as if it were yesterday."

"Finally having him here home with us during my moms lifetime is just really a miracle, unbelievable."

After a lifetime of not knowing, this moment was well worth the wait.