The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) conducted a virtual Family Member Update (FMU) that successfully covered two major areas Los Angeles and Honolulu Feb. 20.
FMUs are conducted in different locations around the United States multiple times a year to best serve and communicate with the families of missing Department of Defense personnel who remain missing from the Vietnam War, the Korean War, the Cold War, World War II, and other designated past conflicts.
“The mission that we share is a sacred one because it involves your loved one who paid the ultimate supreme sacrifice on behalf of this nation, and that is exactly why it makes it a moral imperative,” said Kelly McKeague, DPAA’s Director. “This mission may seem obvious and that is to provide the fullest possible accounting to you and to our nation.”
Since COVID-19 safety protocols restrict large gatherings, DPAA has shifted its FMUs to an online livestream environment to stay connected with families. They have also continued to push forward, finding ways to work with global partners to recover remains despite the pandemic.
“With most nations restricting entry because of COVID, we were very much encouraged last year when Vietnamese teams completed nine recoveries and internationally based partners completed missions in Croatia, Germany, and Papua New Guinea,” said McKeague.
He also said DPAA is grateful for the support of all of our counterpart nations and partners.
McKeague highlighted that DPAA has teams currently in Cambodia and the Philippines, and a large team that left Honolulu Feb. 20 for a 60-day mission in Vietnam. The teams are following health and safety guidelines, and in doing so, these countries are willing to allow DPAA back in to continue their mission.
Virtual FMUs will continue to play a vital role as DPAA works to provide updated information to families. Currently, DPAA plans to hold their next virtual FMU for the Albuquerque, New Mexico, area in April.
DPAA is focused on the research, investigation, recovery, and identification for approximately 39,000 (out of more than 81,800) missing Americans believed to be possibly recoverable from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, the Iraq conflict, and other designated past conflicts.
If you would like to watch the archive of the virtual FMU, please visit www.dpaa.mil/livestreams/. For additional information on the Defense Department’s mission to account for Americans who went missing while serving our country, visit the DPAA website at www.dpaa.mil, find us on social media at www.facebook.com/dodpaa or https://www.linkedin.com/company/defense-pow-mia-accounting-agency.