When Sgt. Thomas J. "Sugar Boy" Barksdale left Macon to go to Korea with the Army, it would be the last time his family saw him again for 62 years. The 21-year ld soldier was killed in 1950 in the war, and was missing for more than 60 years.
But recently, his bones were discovered in North Korea and sent to scientists in Hawaii where DNA from his niece confirmed his identity and allowed him to officially return to Georgia.
David "Hound" Blanton from the Patriot Guard rider's father served in the same battle as Barksdale, adding that American forces were overrun by the Chinese and they didn't have enough ammunition to defeat them in the battle in which Barksdale lost his life.
He was buried today with full military honors, including Patriot Guard Riders and an official proclamation from Mayor Robert Reichert declaring August 3 Sgt. Thomas Jefferson Barksdale Day in the City of Macon.
His pastor remarked that when Barksdale entered the war, it was a different time in America and the South, reminding people that he was willing to give his life for the country well before the Civil Rights Movement made strides in America.
Although family members had accepted the idea that he was killed years ago, they say it is nice to finally have closure.