WWII Veteran's remains identified, brought to Floyd County after 75 years M.I.A.

Published: Nov. 8, 2019 at 7:31 PM EST
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He can be described as a young man, eager to serve his country.

"I always knew who my grandfather was. My mother told us the story," recalled Judi Calhoun.

Judi is Private Jacob Givens' only granddaughter.

At 29-years old, Private Givens enlisted in 1944 shortly before the end of World War II.

"We just knew about him and she made sure that we knew everything about him that she knew and remembered," said Judi.

While serving in Germany, he found himself and his unit in the middle of a brutal battle.

Several heavy artillery barrages were dropped on the men and occasional counter-attacks were received.

It was on October 20th, 1944 when Pvt. Givens' went missing in action.

It was not until one year later on Oct. 25th, 1945 when he was officially reported M.I.A.

"Some gave all but they all gave a part of themselves for us," Judi pointed out.

Pvt. Givens fought for our freedom until his last breath.

"He was a veteran. He gave the ultimate sacrifice and he gave it all," said Judi.

To identify his remains, scientists from the DPAA used dental and anthropological analysis as well as circumstantial and material evidence. Additionally, scientists from the Armed Forces Medical Examiner System used mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome DNA analysis.

Once his remains were identified, he was flown to Lexington. There, the proper actions were taken to move him from the plane to the transport vehicle.

Next, his remains were taken to Floyd County.

"We always knew what happened to him but you never ever expect to get to have his remains brought home," Judi explained.

Friday, U.S. 23 came to a standstill to pay respect to the soldier.

"I had tears in my eyes, to be honest with you. It was just overwhelming," recalled John McDowell.

John is Pvt. Givens' grandson.

As the wind carried American flags, many first responders assisted in a motorcade to Fitzpatrick First Baptist Church.

"It really restored your faith in this country that people respect something like this," John said.

Pvt. Jacob Givens' visitation was from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. Friday at Fitzpatrick First Baptist Church. His funeral is Saturday at noon.

Although too many to name individually, Givens' family would like to thank everyone who assisted in bringing their loved one home.

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