SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Fittingly on Veterans Day, an Antelope family has closure after 60 years. The remains of a POW missing since the Korean War have been identified and are returning home.
This story begins back in 1951 when National Guard medic Jimmy Jimenez Giaton began serving in Korea.
“The character of this man at a young age is amazing. From what I learned he’s one hell of an American,” his nephew, Manuel Adams, told CBS13.
Giaton’s family in Antelope has the last known picture of 21-year old Giaton before he was captured.
“They took 50 POWs at a time and marched him 250 miles up north,” Adams said.
Adams says his uncle survived the treacherous trip.
“Just by reading everything I read, he had to help numerous guys that were wounded and marched in the cold,” Adams said. “And then to die … ”
He died inside the POW camp from a disease. A telegram was sent to Giaton’s family in 1953 to report his death. Private 1st Class Giaton’s body was recovered in 1954.
“His remains were shipped to Japan where they had a laboratory and then to the Hawaiian punch bowl,” Adams said.
But his remains were never identified. Fast-forward 60 years later. Adams recently got a phone call that would change everything.
“They confirmed to me they have identified the remains,” he said.
Inside a 50-page report are answers this family has been searching for so desperately. The dental records an exact match. They did not even need DNA to confirm his identity.
“It’s amazing, it’s bittersweet, it’s tough,” Adams said.
But on this Veterans Day, the family could not be more grateful to finally have resolution. Giaton’s remains will be flown to his hometown of San Antonio over Thanksgiving weekend. The family plans to have a special ceremony for him.
“My heart goes out on Veterans Day to all the other people who still have not gotten resolution,” Adams said. “Bring them all home.”