In the previous episode of this podcast, Vietnam Veteran News, we took a look at what the State of Missouri and some family members of Vietnam MIA’s are doing to prod the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) to come up answers about the fifteen names on the MIA list from Missouri. It has been very frustrating for the families down through the years as they keep looking for information about their loved ones.
In this episode we will take a look at what the DPAA is doing to help find closure for the family members of the 1,614 service members missing in action from the Vietnam War. There were two similar stories about the DPAA work being done in this painstaking process. The stories are: one appearing in the Guns.com website titled: Teams search for remains of missing Vietnam War servicemen that was submitted by Jennifer Cruz and another on the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency website titled: Returning with honor by Staff Sgt Leah Ferrante.
The articles tell about a team of 59 researchers who recently went to Khammouane Province in the Central East region of Laos to search for remains of the MIAs. It was the second largest DPAA mission to for the fiscal year 2017. These missions are replete with many hazards. Key members of the team are explosive ordinance disposal technicians due to the fact that thousands of bombs and bomblets litter the mountainous area with the searches are conducted.
Members of the team expressed a high regard for the work they were doing. Team member U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chris Walgenbach said this about being included on the mission: “I’m very honored to have been part of this initiative to bring our missing home. This mission has been the most unique part of my 13 year career in the military and I know others feel the same way.”
The hard work and continued dedication of these teams makes it possible for DPAA to fulfill our nations promise and provide fullest possible accounting for our missing service members to their families and the nation.