BELVIDERE, Ill. (WTVO) — A Korean War veteran has been laid to rest in Belvidere, 72 years after he went missing.

Arthur Zoellick said it was an emotional day when, last week, he learned that the remains of his uncle were found.

U.S. Army Corporal William Zoellick, 18, disappeared in November 1950. He was listed as “Missing in Action” for many years.

“I am very fortunate to be here, to help him, I mean. I was three years old when he passed away,” Zoellick said. “I never knew that was possible, to identify someone [from] that long ago.”

Zoellick said when he first received the call about his missing uncle, he thought it was a joke or a scam.

“I even checked with the Belvidere Armed Forces, and they said it’s legal,” he said.

Cpl. Zoellick was laid to rest Thursday with full military honors. The procession visited 11 schools in the Belvidere School District, each of whom received lesson plans for teachers, on who he was and the significance of his return.

“As Americans, we’re obligated to honor our war heroes, regardless of when they come home,” said Wayne Kirkpatrick, the chairman of Rolling Thunder Illinois. “I think our other obligation is to keep our government looking for those remains, bring those back.”

Kirkpatrick says it was his organization’s honor to help bring Cpl. Zoellick home to his family.

“Unfortunately, we don’t have MIA’s coming back every day, but if we can bring that closure to families, it’s a blessing to be able to do that,” he said.

Zoellick said he has been overcome by the amount of love and support in bringing his uncle home.

“It’s mind-blowing to me, almost,” he said. “I still don’t know how to react. I am very thankful for everybody’s help and putting this together and helping me.”

Kirkpatrick says there are still 82,000 prisoner of war and missing in action veterans who have yet to be returned home.