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Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) Director Kelly McKeague spoke on the cooperation among U.S. and Vietnamese Veterans and Families panel during the United States Institute of Peace’s two-day Dialogue on War Legacies and Peace in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia series on Oct. 11, 2022, in Washington, DC. This two-day event highlighted one of the twenty-first century's most extraordinary tales: the postwar reconciliation between the United States and Vietnam. The consequences of American military participation in Southeast Asia, which were once a significant barrier to regular ties, have progressively given way to a closer alliance. McKeague said the mission to build a closer and stronger alliance is personal "simply because it's about reconciliation not just between our two countries, but more importantly between our two peoples." To date, 719 Veterans were recovered and are now home; this would not be possible without the joint field exercise and the support of the Vietnamese government. The 148th joint field exercise with Vietnam will be in the upcoming month; DPAA conducts these exercises four times a year for 30 to 45 days. This achievement is only possible through our ongoing collaboration with the Vietnamese government, its allies, and—most crucially—the local villagers in Vietnam. Closing out the session, McKeague said, "What we're proud to be a part of is a very purposeful mission; it's one that we can not perform without the assistance of our Vietnamese partners, more importantly, the Vietnamese people."

Photo by: Sun Vega |  VIRIN: 221011-D-TT930-001.JPG