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DPAA In The News

News 2 | May 28, 2024

Military labs do the detective work to identify soldiers decades after they died in World War II

By Josh Funk

Generations of American families have grown up not knowing exactly what happened to their loved ones who died while serving their country in World War II and other conflicts.

But a federal lab tucked away above the bowling alley at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha and a sister lab in Hawaii are steadily answering those lingering questions, aiming to offer 200 families per year the chance to honor their relatives with a proper burial.

“They may not even have been alive when that service member was alive, but that story gets carried down through the generations,” said Carrie Brown, a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency lab manager at Offutt. “They may have seen on the mantle a picture of that person when they were little and not really understood or known who they were.”

Memorial Day and the upcoming 80th anniversary of D-Day on June 6 are reminders of the urgency of Brown’s work. The forensic anthropologists, medical examiners and historians who work together to identify lost soldiers are in a race against time as remains buried on battlefields around the globe deteriorate.

For the full story, please follow the link - Associated Press