EDISON – Click here for Video
A Korean War veteran from New Jersey has finally been laid to rest nearly 70 years after his death.
U.S. Army Sgt. Frank Suliman died 68 years ago while a prisoner of war in North Korea. His remains were returned to the United States earlier this year after a deal was made with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to return the remains of 55 American servicemen missing in action.
Family and friends held funeral services for Suliman Tuesday.
“The last thing I received from him was a letter and the ending of it was, ‘I’ll be home for Christmas.’ And he came home. Not the way he expected. But anyway, he’s home,” says Suliman’s sister, Olga Anderson.
Suliman, of Edison, received full military honors, his Purple Heart on display alongside his casket.
A funeral procession consisted of fellow veterans on motorcycles, hometown police officers and firefighters, and members of Edison VFW Post 3117. Suliman was buried in Brigadier General William C Doyle Cemetery.
Suliman’s burial comes just about two months after the family received word that his remains would be returned to the United States.
“They called to tell me that the 50 boxes – that they had found three of them. One was Frank,” says Suliman’s other sister, Mary Yaverski.
Family members say that Suliman was mischievous and a prankster. They say that he reenlisted for a second tour in the Army just as the Korean War was starting. He shipped off and was captured by the Chinese in January 1951. He died three months later of pneumonia and dysentery. He was 21 years old.
“I miss the hell out of him. I really do,” Yaverski says.
Suliman was the second member of his family to die in the line of duty. His other brother James Suliman was killed at the Battle of Iwo Jima during World War II.