DPAA Conducts First-Ever Virtual FMU
By Army Sgt. Jarel Chugg-Guerra
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Dr. Franklin Damann, DPAA's Deputy Laboratory Director, gives a presentation on DPAA's scientific capabilities during the virtual Little Rock, Arkansas, Family Member Update (FMU) Nov. 7. This was DPAA's first-ever virtual FMU, held so DPAA could continue to inform families about what they do and their efforts to locate our missing despite COVID-19. In addition to livestreamed presentations, DPAA historians, research analysts, and members of the Service Casualty Offices met with families online for the same 1-on-1 briefings they would have received if everyone had been physically in Little Rock.
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Dan Baughman, chief of the Northeast Asia Branch of the DPAA Indo-Pacific Directorate’s Research Support Division, conducts a virtual 1-on-1 briefing with the Army Casualty Office and the family of a service member missing from the Korean War during DPAA’s first-ever virtual Family Member Update Nov. 7. In addition to livestreamed presentations, DPAA historians, research analysts, and members of the Service Casualty Offices met with families online for the same 1-on-1 briefings they would have received if everyone had been physically in Little Rock, Arkansas, the original location for this FMU.
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Dr. Gregory Kuspky, a historian with DPAA’s Indo-Pacific Directorate, gives a livestreamed briefing on the Enoura Maru and other Hellships from World War II during the DPAA virtual Little Rock, Arkansas, Family Member Update Nov. 7. This was DPAA’s first-ever virtual FMU, held so they could continue to connect with and inform families about what is being done to locate our missing from past conflicts despite COVID-19.
WASHINGTON, Nov. 9, 2020 —
The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) conducted their first-ever virtual Family Member Update (FMU) for Little Rock, Arkansas, Nov. 7.
FMUs play a vital role in keeping an open flow of communication with families regarding their missing loved ones. Continuing to keep communication with the families available despite COVID-19 has been top priority for DPAA, which prompted holding this virtual FMU, taking extra care to keep everyone safe yet informed.
“After having to cancel six family meetings earlier this year, we wanted to be able to connect and communicate with you, and thus we have our very first virtual Family Member Update,” said Kelly McKeague, DPAA’s Director. “It’s not an overstatement that the mission we share is a sacred one simply because it involves your missing loved one, but it is also a moral imperative because your loved one made the supreme sacrifice on behalf of a grateful nation.”
Arkansas Senator John Bozeman shared a video message with family members during the FMU.
“Just like our POWs and those missing in action fought with resolve in defense of our nation and it’s ideals, so too shall we be determined to bring the men and women who served in uniform home, no matter where they are or how long they have been gone,” said Bozeman. “We must commit to never giving up looking for those who wore our nation’s uniform and give answers to families waiting to hear their loved one has been found.”
In order to conduct themselves in a manner that provides the utmost respect for the missing DoD personnel and their family members, DPAA strives to live up to its core Values.
“Ladies and gentlemen, I must tell you that because this mission is so unique, because it is so compelling, these values that you see in front of you; Compassion, Integrity Teamwork, Respect and Innovation; these are our navigational tools without which we will not be able to follow that star with success,” said McKeague.
McKeague added that for DPAA and its strategic partners in the Department of Defense; the teams from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the American Battle Monuments Commission cemeteries; and its non-governmental organization partners, it is so crucial that they are personally responsible to families and accountable to their loved one and their supreme sacrifice.
DPAA is working to account for the more than 81,800 Department of Defense personnel who remain missing from the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Cold War, and World War II.
Family Member Updates have been conducted since 1995, giving families in-person updates regarding their missing loved ones. DPAA is committed to finding our missing, and giving their families and the nation the fullest possible accounting of our missing personnel.
If you would like to watch the archive of the virtual FMU, please visit www.dpaa.mil/livestreams/. To learn more about DPAA and its mission, please visit www.dpaa.mil.