(CBS) — The remains of a soldier who died in a Japanese prison camp over 70 years ago have now been buried on Chicago’s Northwest Side.

Bud Kelder was 26 when he died of malaria after being captured by Japanese forces during World War II. His parents tried to get his remains sent back to Chicago but they died without that having happened. Other relatives continued the fight and eventually sued.

The government then dug up a mass grave where Kelder and 13 other soldiers were buried. Kelder’s nephew Doug says now he’s been laid to rest with his mother here in Chicago.

“One of his last letters to her was, ‘When I return, us three will be together forever, Dad, Mom and me. We will always be together and I am never leaving again’ so we are granting that wish,” he said.

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk presented Doug Kelder with his uncle’s Purple Heart and Bronze Star before the burial service and apologized for it having took so long to bring him home.