Effort helps bring troops back home
Researchers pushing to ID remains of 83,000 service members
Members of our armed forces know that when they are called to duty, they put everything on the line — including their own lives — to protect and defend our nation.
When someone chooses to serve in the military, there are countless risks. One knows that there is a risk of injury, of physical or mental trauma, and that one might not make it home again. For any family, that can be devastating. But for some, the situation is worse when their loved one’s body doesn’t make it home.
A team of scientists and experts is working to change that, and in turn give those families closure. The team is on a mission to identify the remains of unidentified service members.
According to the Associated Press, there are 83,000 unidentified service members killed in World War II and more recent wars. Of those, officials belief that nearly half can be identified and returned to families.
That’s a staggering number, and it’s not an easy process. The AP notes that the team is using science, history and intuition in the identification process. When they succeed, the team gives families information about what happened — how the person died, and how the team “unraveled the mystery” leading up to the identification.
According to the AP, “the identifications climbed from 59 in 2013 to 183 last year and at least 200 and possibly a few more this year.”
That is great news for families and relatives. Each person identified is a person who can be returned to their families, giving those families closure. These service members gave the ultimate sacrifice for their country. Returning them home for burial is the least our nation can do.
It’s a tremendous effort, but it’s one worth doing. Hopefully, with the added focus of this team, more families get the closure they deserve, and a chance to truly say goodbye.