The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

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.

Contact information:

U.S. Air Force


550 C Street West

JBSA-Randolph, TX 78150-4716

Tel: 1 (800) 531-5501

Website: (

U.S. Army

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

Website: (

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

Website: (

U.S. Navy

Navy Personnel Command Casualty Assistance Division (PERS-13)

5720 Integrity Drive

Millington, TN 38055-0000

Tel: 1 (800) 443-9298

Website: (

State Department

U.S. Department of State CA/OCS/ACS/EAP

SA-17, 10th Floor

Washington, D.C. 20522-1707

Phone: 1 (202) 485-6106


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