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Body of soldier back in Nebraska after 75 years

Published: Jun. 4, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 6:01 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - A solder who went missing in action in Europe during World War II is now back in Nebraska.

Aurora native Lyle Reab was reported missing November 9, 1944. Until recently, his body was never identified.

He was just 22-years-old when he died serving in the United States Army. Lyle took a long overdue journey back home Friday.

His body was escorted by American Legion Riders, including his own cousin, Karen Thomas.

“We are so thankful we’re able to take him out and lay him to rest beside his parents where he belongs,” Thomas said.

Lyle is Karen Thomas’ dad’s cousin. She said Lyle’s disappearance was too hard for the family to talk about, even years later.

“We never knew what happened to him. He was reported missing and seven months later he was presumed dead. That’s all they ever knew. They waited and waited for more answers but never got them,” Thomas said.

But a few months ago they got a call that Lyle’s remains had been identified at a lab at Offutt Air Force Base.

“It’s a little shocking after 75 years; what are the odds of this happening,” Thomas said.

So Friday morning, in perfect weather, clear blue skies, Lyle was taken home. He was surrounded by veterans, some who didn’t even know Lyle.

Riders from all over helped give Lyle an honorable escort home and lie him to rest where he should be.

Lyle’s funeral will be June 8 at the Lerton Cemetery of Giltner. His name is also on the wall of the missing at a memorial site in the Netherlands. A rose will be placed next to his name to signify that he has been found.

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