Veteran found dead in Chicago, reunited with family in emotional ceremony

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CHICAGO -- Desert Storm Veteran Nelson Rodiguez was found dead in Chicago more than a month ago. On Saturday afternoon, his remains were reunited with his widow Noretta Rodriguez in an emotional ceremony.

Noretta told WGN reporter Mike Lowe that she wasn't sure if she'd ever be reunited with her husband's remains.

"I have to thank God, because nobody but God – as I look around this room -- could have brought this group of people together to honor my husband," she said.

Rodriguez's body laid unclaimed at the Cook County medical examiner's officer for nearly a month. His family in Florida was not financially able to make the trip or pay for his funeral.

Cook County Commissioner Ricahrd Boykin heard the story and worked with veteran advocates "America's Heroes Group" to have the body cremated and the ceremony arranged.

United Airlines paid for Noretta's travel from Florida, so she could make the ceremony.

Boykin hopes Rodriguez's story sheds light on the problems veterans face returning to America. Rodriguez returned from Desert Storm only to become one of the estimated 40-thousand homeless veterans in America.

Watch the ceremony in the player above.

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