EVANSVILLE, IN (WFIE) - A purple heart medal was posthumously awarded on Wednesday to World War II veteran, Private First Class Clifford Mills.
He was long considered missing in action, but as we first told you last week, his remains were recently identified using new forensic technology.
He was a well decorated soldier and he is now on his way home.
“He did make this sacrifice for us and that’s one of the reasons we can do the things we can do because of him and all those who sacrificed their lives” said his niece Evelyn Hessig.
The military honored Mills’ sacrifice. Not only at a monument in the Netherlands, but here in Jasper as they awarded him the purple heart.
" It’s just an emotional thing and seeing others pay respect to him as well for the sacrifices he made was just heartfelt" said family member Amy Harris.
While some honors were done aloud, with all eyes on Mills’ niece
Other honors, more intimately.
Coins given from the Field artillery unit with which Mills served.
A man who we learned , inspired many others in his family to serve.
“It’s great to recognize the World War Two veterans, they are the greatest generation they sacrificed so much” said Captain Eric Hetland.
This family, with a legacy of service to their country encourages others to serve too.
“Everybody will be at peace now that he is back close to us and we wont have to wonder what happened” said Evelyn.
A piece of family history that can now be passed down to future generation.
Now they wait, for their American hero to come home, and in just a few short weeks 75 years of waiting will be over.