The greatest tragedy of war is that some of our nation’s greatest heroes never make it home. Even more devastating, some of those soldiers cannot be properly honored because they cannot be identified.
This long-term problem may have a solution thanks to the efforts of the brilliant minds at the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency labs in Hawaii. The agency now has a brand-new facility solely dedicated to their efforts to identify the lost.
According to a report from SOFREP, the new $80 million, 140,000-square-foot facility on Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam will give researchers state-of-the-art laboratory, administrative and operational storage space.
Now, these American researchers run the largest anthropology lab on the planet, and work tirelessly to identify service members from World War II, Korea and Vietnam. Using advanced DNA technology, scientists attempt to match samples to known persons and send deceased soldiers home to their loved ones.
“It’s very, very important to provide answers to families. Families want to know what happened to their loved ones – the men who never came home,” U.S. Navy Capt. Edward Reedy, a DPAA medical examiner, said in an interview.
Even with the new facilities and technology, experts say that the processes can take weeks, or even months, due to the poor condition of many of the samples.
The full original report can be read on SOFREP’s website linked here.