National POW/MIA Recognition Day

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National POW/MIA Recognition Day:

Did you know that there are more than 83,000 Americans missing from World War II, Korea, the Cold War, Vietnam and the 1991 Gulf War?

There are hundreds of Defense Department employees working in organizations around the world as part the personnel recovery and personnel accounting communities. All are dedicated to the mission of finding and bringing our missing personnel home. The mission requires expertise in archival research, intelligence collection and analysis, field investigations and recoveries and scientific analysis.

Recently, the Defense Prisoner of War/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) recovered two Army personnel who will be laid to rest this month:

Sgt. Melvin E. Wolfe, U.S. Army, K Company, 31st Regimental Combat Team, was lost Dec. 12, 1950, during the battle of the Chosin Reservoir. He was accounted for Aug. 26, 2013. He will be buried with full military honors Sept. 23, 2013, in Boulder City, Nev.

2nd Lt. Vernal J. Bird, U.S. Army Air Forces, 5th Air Force, 3rd Bombardment Group, 13th Bombardment Squadron was lost in March, 1944, when his A-20G Havoc bomber crashed in Papua New Guinea. He was accounted for Aug. 28, 2013. He will be buried with full military honors Sept. 28, 2013, in Springville, Utah.

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Find more recently recovered military personnel here: http://www.dtic.mil/dpmo/accounted_for/

History:

National POW/MIA Recognition Day observances are traditionally held on the third Friday of September on military installations, ships at sea, state capitols, schools and veterans’ facilities. This observance is one of six days throughout the year that Congress has mandated the flying of the National League of Families’ POW/MIA flag .

DPMO was established in 1993 after the U.S. Senate called for the Department of Defense to form a single office to oversee and manage POW/MIA issues.

On behalf of the Secretary of Defense, DPMO works to limit the loss or capture of Americans who are serving abroad, and to bring home those who are captured or killed while serving our country.

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Motto:

“Keeping the Promise”

More than 100 civilian and military personnel who have expertise in the following areas:

(1) Plans, policy, control and oversight

(2) Gathering and analyzing case-related information

(3) informative and timely outreach to families and the public.

 

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Denetra Reilly, with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, digs in an established excavation grid in Thua Thien-Hue province, Vietnam. The 13-person team searched for physical evidence of two Americans lost during the Vietnam War during the more than 35-day deployment. The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command conducts global search, recovery and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts in order to support the Department of Defense's personnel accounting efforts. (DoD photo by Sgt. Wayne Hansen, U.S. Marine Corps)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Denetra Reilly, with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, digs in an established excavation grid in Thua Thien-Hue province, Vietnam. The 13-person team searched for physical evidence of two Americans lost during the Vietnam War during the more than 35-day deployment. The Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command conducts global search, recovery and laboratory operations to identify unaccounted-for Americans from past conflicts in order to support the Department of Defense’s personnel accounting efforts. (DoD photo by Sgt. Wayne Hansen, U.S. Marine Corps)

Contact Information:

Family members seeking more information about missing loved ones may call their respective Service Casualty Office:

U.S. Army: 800-892-2490

U.S. Air Force: 800-531-5501

U.S. Marine Corps: 800-847-1597

U.S. Navy: 800-443-9298

U.S. Department of State: 202-647-5470

 

Other resources:

http://www.jpac.pacom.mil/

http://www.afmes.mil/

 

This Army Live blog post was written by U.S. Army Public Affairs Specialist Tom Conning.