Corbin man who died at Pearl Harbor finally identified

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Posted at 5:07 PM, Aug 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-27 18:21:52-04

CORBIN, Ky. (LEX 18) — The remains of a Corbin man who died at Pearl Harbor have been identified after nearly 80 years.

Now, his family is preparing to bury him and give him the hero's welcome home they believe he deserves.

Coit Steely has only ever seen his uncle in photos and he only knows him through the story's his dad used to tell.

"He was a prankster a lot and he was over 6-foot and he liked to pull jokes on everybody," said Steely.

But, his legacy looms large over the Steely family in Corbin.

"He's my hero, straight up and down. I'm a Vietnam veteran and we know we've kind of been in the military, the Steelys have, so it kind of makes me appreciate that," said Steely.

Ulis Steely was serving in the Navy abroad when he was killed at Pearl Harbor. For nearly 80 years, his family wondered what happened to him.

But now, the Defense POW-MIA Accounting Agency has identified his remains.

Ulis Steely will finally be laid to rest in an empty grave that has been up since the 1940s in October.

"It's about time he gets buried where he belongs, where he's going to stay," said Steely.

Steely said that he hopes the community will come together to honor his uncle's sacrifice.

"He gave his life up for this country. You can't ask for nothing, no more out of a person. That's giving all and he gave it all and he deserves every bit of it. he deserves more you know, he deserves it," said Steely.

And Steely knows the pride his dad would feel if he were here now.

"It he's looking down, he's smiling," said Steely.