By Jean-Paul Salamanca ( | First Posted: Oct 09, 2012 04:37 PM EDT

**Correction, 5:18 p.m. EDT ** Marine was not buried in Arlingon Cemetery but in Fort Logan National Cemetery.

It may have taken nearly 40 years, but Pfc. James Jacques' family can finally rest in peace.

Roughly 37 years after his disappearance during a failed rescue mission in Cambodia during the Vietnam War, Jacques was buried Tuesday-on what would have been his birthday-at Fort Logan National Cemetery in Colorado with full military honors.

It would have been Jacques's 56th birthday.

Jacques, a La Junta, Colo. marine, went missing in May 1975 after he and 25 other soldiers, onboard a helicopter, were sent on a mission to rescue the crew of the American cargo ship S.S. Mayaguez, which was captured by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia that month.

The mission went awry when the helicopter-carrying Jacques and 13 others, according to the Huffington Post-encountered heavy enemy fire from Cambodian fighters and crashed into the sea just off the coast of Koh Tang Island, where the crew was being held.

No trace of Jacques, only 18 years old at the time, was ever found until 1992, when his identification tags were found. His remains were turned over to the U.S. by a Cambodian man in 1995, but Jacques could not be positively identified until this year by the Defense Department, thanks to new advances in DNA testing technology.

As the years passed, the pain became harder for Jacques's family to cope with.

"We have been waiting for years to find out what really happened to Jim ," Delouise Gurra, the Marine's sister, told

That changed, Gurra told the Huffington Post, when she received a letter from the military on Aug. 14 stating that they had found her brother.

"I started crying because I knew it was about my brother," she told the Post. "We were crying, we jumped, we hollered."

While the homecoming was bittersweet for Gurra, she remembered her brother as a loving man who "wanted to serve his country and do his best."

"He was a very loving, very caring - well, he was my baby brother," she said. "He was just a really good person."

Footage of Pvc. Jacques return can be seen here at CBS Denver's news site.

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