Ryan was killed in the Korean War Nov. 1, 1950 during an engagement with Chinese forces while guarding a bridge near Unsan, North Korea. He was 28. His body was recovered at the time, and Ryan was listed as missing in action up until 2011, when his remains were identified through DNA testing. His remains turned up 12 years ago during a North Korean gold-mining project.
Ryan's remains were flown to Los Angeles International Airport Thursday morning and driven to Wiefel Mortuary in Palm Springs, with a military escort.
Ryan, whose son, Terry Ryan, 65, lives in Cathedral City, will be buried at Riverside National Cemetery on Saturday.
Thursday morning, Terry Ryan and his son Corie Ryan were waiting for the sergeant's remains on the tarmac.
"It's amazing. He's home. I'm just speechless, to be honest with you. I mean, you hear about stuff like that, but to be a part of it now, it's amazing," said Corie Ryan. "It's just a day where you're proud to be American."
The Sergeant, a native of Muscatine, Iowa, served in the Army for 12 years. He fought in World War II and the Korean War and won several medals, including the Silver Star, Bronze Star and Purple Heart.