Long Island military hero remains returned to the U.S. Ukraine Freedom fighter Capt. Grady Kurpasi honored at JFK Airport


Remains of retired Captain Grady Kurpasi who was killed while assisting in the Ukraine
war. were repatriated through a Turkish Airlines flight from Istanbul to JFK Airport. 50 year-old Retired Marine Capt. Grady Kurpasi went missing in April 2022 after taking small arms fire in the Ukraine. His remains were unknown until located by the global human rights advocacy group, the Weatherman Foundation that arranged for his flights back to the USA.
“We are not only bringing him home, but we spent months trying to find his remains,” says cofounder Andrew Duncan. “We feel very strongly that you never leave an American behind. Ever.” Kurpasi, a Purple Heart recipient, after retiring from the Marine Corps, went to aid the Ukrainians against the Russians. He intended to train soldiers and assist with evacuations and eventually joined the Ukrainian Foreign Legion where he was killed in a Russian attack and his body disappeared until discovered by the Weatherman Foundation people.
Capt. Kurpasi was honored at JFK Airport by Marine Officer Tim LaSage, officers from the PAPD and CBP who honored his remains carefully removed off the plane to another aircraft bound for his home in North Carolina. Capt. Kurpasi was adopted by American family upon his arrival in the U.S. at a young age and grew up in Island Park. Several old friends from Long Island attended the ceremonial return and wept as they said goodbye to their friend and military service officer.
The Romulus T. Weatherman Foundation is dedicated to protecting children, human rights, and democracy around the world. It has been involved in a number of child rescues, logistics support and assistance in delivery goods for the fight against the Russian invasion.