Remains of Missing US Marine Veteran Fighting in Ukraine Located and Brought Home by the Weatherman Foundation

(Adnkronos) – Former New York City Resident and Tillman Scholar to be Honored at JFK Airport on Friday, May 19 NEW YORK, May 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — U.S. Marine veteran Grady Kurpasi's remains will be returned to his family this Friday, May 19, following his disappearance in Ukraine last spring. Kurpasi's remains were located by the RT Weatherman Foundation ("Weatherman Foundation") and will be accompanied by the Foundation's team on a nonstop flight on Turkish Airlines Flight #001 from Istanbul, landing in JFK at 5:50 EDT on Friday. The fallen soldier will be honored with a brief ceremony at the airport before being transferred by private jet to Wilmington, NC to be reunited with his family.   Retired Marine Captain Grady Kurpasi, 50, and veteran of the Iraq war, volunteered to fight in support of Ukraine and was last seen on April 26, 2022, after investigating the source of gunfire in southern Ukraine with a group of international volunteers. Kurpasi was accompanied by a British citizen, Andrew Hill, and the men radioed back to their team that they were under fire. Hill was captured by Russian-backed forces and has reportedly been charged with being a mercenary.   Kurpasi first traveled to Ukraine in February 2022 to assist with evacuations and train Ukrainian soldiers. Eventually joining the Ukrainian Foreign Legion, Kurpasi was motivated to stay and fight after witnessing the many atrocities committed in the communities outside of Kyiv.   Missing for more than a year, Kurpasi was declared dead by the State Department in April 2023. The Weatherman Foundation, a private operating foundation founded by Bess Weatherman and Andrew Duncan, worked tirelessly to locate Kurpasi's remains and was determined to travel to Ukraine to ensure the safe passage of Kurpasi's remains back to American soil.  "Our family is deeply grateful to the Weatherman Foundation for their tireless efforts to find our beloved Grady's remains and to bring him home to us," said Kurpasi's wife. Kurpasi, who grew up in New York City following his adoption from Korea, enlisted in the Marine Corps at the age of 29 following the attacks on 9/11. He deployed three times to Iraq, serving as an infantry assaultman and ultimately becoming a scout sniper, retiring as a captain in September 2021.   The Weatherman Foundation's Andrew Duncan said, "Grady is a hero for helping to protect the innocent children of Ukraine from an indicted war criminal. As children in occupied Kherson were forced to breathe the constant smell of burning dead Russian soldiers, we, as fellow Americans, share a core moral ideal: we never leave Americans behind. Ever." Kurpasi was also a Tillman Scholar. Meaghan Mobbs, the president of the Weatherman Foundation and fellow Tillman Scholar, who led the effort to retrieve Kurpasi, will also be in attendance to honor him. Mobbs said, "There is an unspoken bond between those who serve in uniform – if you give your life in combat, your fellow Americans will bear any burden to bring you home. This bond lays at the heart of the mission and values of the RT Weatherman Foundation. Our team spent the last 9 months quietly and diligently working to honor that commitment to Grady and his family. As a fellow Tillman scholar, Veteran, and American I could not be prouder to see him returned home." In addition to being a Tillman Scholar, Kurpasi has also been awarded Good Conduct Medal three times, the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal three times, the Purple Heart Medal, the National Defense Service Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, among other awards.  About the RT Weatherman Foundation The RT Weatherman Foundation was founded Bess Weatherman and Andrew Duncan in honor of Romulus T. Weatherman, a decorated WWII veteran and journalist. The Foundation is dedicated to protecting children, defending human rights, and promoting democracy around the world.   Contact Edelman Stephan Pechdimaldji  Senior Vice President  (415) 531-4847  
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