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Letter to the Editor: Areta Blooding-Laird

By Areta Blooding-Laird

May 22, 2024

Search for Unidentified Veterans Continues

The VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) since 1929 have been committed to account for all United States veterans from past wars. According to Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) more than 81,000 troops missing including 72,220 from World War II, 7,497 from the Korean War, 1, 579 from the Vietnam, 132 from the Cold War, Operation El Dorado Canyon (Northern Africa and the Persian Gulf War.)

During COVID, DPAA was not able to do recovery of veterans, but restrictions have been lifted. VFW is even more committed to accounting for all MIA/POW veterans. The Service Casualty Office at http://www.dpaa.mil/families/contact-information

In many cases a DNA test can help to make a positive identification.

Search for unidentified veterans continues?

Of the 1,177 casualties, 105 have been recovered and identified. The National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific, in Honolulu, Hawaii, have yet to identify 85 graves marked as “Unknown USS Arizona.”

Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency have utilized DNA testing to identify previously unknown service members. In order to achieve a high percentage of identification, the DPAA requires samples from 60% per cent of the lost crewmembers’ families. More information is available on https://ussarizona.navy Family members should contact a Service Casualty Office http://www.dpaa.mil/families/contact-information

Submitted,
Areta Blooding-Laird

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