CREST HILL, Ill. (WLS) --Navy Fireman 1st Class Navy Michael Galajdik perished at Pearl Harbor in December, 1941, aboard the U.S.S. Oklahoma.
This weekend, more than 70 years after his death, his remains will finally come home to Illinois.
Galajdik's sister, Anna Sternisha, spent her life trying to make this a reality. She did not live long enough to pay her respects, but her son George Sternisha made it his own mission to bring home the uncle he never knew.
"She always says that she wanted his remains brought back to the states so she could visit his grave... and I'm glad I was able to fulfill her dream because this is what she wanted," Sternisha said.
Sternisha, a Marine Corps veteran and Purple Heart recipient, traveled to Hawaii, Wednesday, to escort Galajdik's remains. He says this should give other families hope.
"It's a real possibility that they can identify your loved one's remains," she said.
Galajdik will be interred at Abraham Lincoln National Cemetery on Saturday.