VFW supports program to gather MIA survivors' DNA
October 24, 2019
Veterans of Foreign Wars Wahkiakum Post 5297 is asking people related to missing military personnel to participate in a program to account to armed services members.
According to a post news release, the Department of Defense (DOD) has an agency, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA), whose mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for missing personnel to their families and nation. When American personnel remain captive, missing or otherwise unaccounted for at the conclusion of hostilities, the DOD accounting community becomes the responsible agent for determining the fate of the missing and where possible, recovering them alive or recovering and identifying the remains of the dead worldwide. For those killed in action, the accounting community is charged with locating, recovering and identifying their remains. More than 83,000 Americans remain missing from World War II, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Vietnam War, Libya and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The DPAA Laboratory is the largest and most diverse skeletal laboratory in the world and is staffed by more than 30 anthropologists, archaeologists and forensic odontologists. Dental remains are extremely important to the identification process. An individual’s dental records are often the best way to identify remains as they have unique individual characteristics and may contain surviving DNA. The lab uses DNA in about three-quarters of its cases. Samples taken from bones and teeth are analyzed at the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, where they extract and amplify the surviving DNA to determine the genetic sequence, which is compared with the sequences from family reference samples provided by living individuals who are related to the unidentified American. These family reference samples are collected as needed by the casualty and mortuary offices of the individual services.
Relatives of missing service members are urged to contact the Service Casualty Office (SCO) for information on how to provide a DNA sample. The SCO will mail to your home, a DNA donor kit that contains a donor consent form, instruction form, three buccal (cheek) swabs and a shipping envelope. All you have to do is fill out the paperwork, rub the inside of your cheek with the swabs, place the swabs back in their containers and affix the label.
U.S. Air Force
550 C Street West
JBSA-Randolph, TX 78150-4716
Tel: 1 (800) 531-5501
Department of the Army
Attn Past Conflicts AHRC-PDC-R
1600 Spearhead Div. Ave, Dept 450
Fort Knox, KY 40122-5405
Tel: 1 (800) 892-2490
U.S. Marine Corps
Headquarters U.S. Marine Corps
Manpower and Reserve Affairs (MFPC)
Personal and Family Readiness Division
2008 Elliot Road
Quantico, VA 22134-5103
Tel: 1 (800) 847-1597
Navy Personnel Command Casualty Assistance Division (PERS-13)
5720 Integrity Drive
Millington, TN 38055-0000
Tel: 1 (800) 443-9298
U.S. Department of State CA/OCS/ACS/EAP
SA-17, 10th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20522-1707
Phone: 1 (202) 485-6106