In 2001, as a feature writer for the Korea Times, I had the honor to write cover a repatriation ceremony at the Yongsan Army Garrison in Seoul, for the remains of two UNC soldiers found in the South. Later, this would be part of the inspiration for my Korean War novel, War Remains and the event I covered would end up in the novel.

When the two caskets were carried to two white hearses waiting at the end of the parade field, as the 8th Army Band played a funeral dirge, the tears were streaming down my face.

All I could think about was, someone’s grandfather, father, brother, or uncle was on their way home.

I still get chills down my spine when I look at these two caskets, knowing that a service member is finally going home.