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Fallen veteran returns home 46-years later

On Saturday, thousands of people welcomed home the remains of a fallen central Illinois soldier. Captain Joseph S. Smith died while fighting in the Vietnam War 46-years-ago.

On Saturday, thousands of people welcomed home the remains of a fallen central Illinois soldier. Captain Joseph S. Smith died while fighting in the Vietnam War 46-years-ago.

Officials said his body was finally recovered, nearly five decades later.

“Today is our chance to honor a fallen hero, a person who has sacrificed himself to our country and this is our way of honoring him,” Shelby County Sheriff Don Koonce said.

Thousands of people gathered in both Shelby County and Christian County for a motorcade Saturday. Both cars and motorists made a seven-mile journey from Moweaqua to Assumption, where the fallen veteran is from.

“This is our way, to say thank you for our freedom that we have,” veteran Kenneth Mcleod said.

The memorial ended at the Seitz Funeral Home, where Captain Smith was finally laid to rest.

A funeral mass will be held on Monday at St. Mary’s Catholic Church.

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