PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Homecoming became a reality today for Army Cpl. Alva Clifford Groves of Shinnston, West Virginia.
His remains arrived at Pittsburgh International Airport late Tuesday morning.
His body was met by his sole surviving sister, several other relatives and members of the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle club.
They escorted the body back to his hometown where funeral services will be held this Thursday.
Groves joined the Army in 1950 after quitting school.
At first, he was reported MIA. It wasn’t until after the war that his family learned that he died while in captivity.
His sister, Lillian Anderson, says it’s been difficult, but she’s glad her brother has made it back home.
“It has been difficult when I think of greeting an 18-year-old when he should be 82. It’s just hard,” said Anderson.
She added, “There were times when I never thought he’d never return.”
Sandra Buswink, Groves’ niece, provided the military with a DNA sample eight years ago, which led to the positive identification of his remains. A second DNA sample came from his sister.
“I walked next door to visit Aunt Lil and ask her if she would be available to give blood, and she said yes, and I contacted the department of the Army and they came out and took our blood,” said Buswink.
Both Buswink and Anderson were at the airport Tuesday when Groves’ body arrived.
Asked if she remembered her uncle, Buswink said, “I was only 6-months-old when my uncle joined the Army. I feel close to him now.”