Your Navy Operating Forward – Red Sea, Korea, Guam

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Right now your Navy is 100 percent on watch around the globe helping to preserve the American way of life. Whether it be operating and training off the coast of Spain or forward deployed to the Arabian Gulf, the flexibility and presence provided by our U.S. naval forces provides national leaders with great options for protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world. The imagery below highlights the Navy’s ability to provide those options by operating forward.

PHILIPPINE SEA: The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), foreground, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Atago-class guided-missile destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG 178), left, and the JMSDF Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106) transit the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA: The aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70), foreground, and the Japan Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF) Atago-class guided-missile destroyer JS Ashigara (DDG 178), left, and the JMSDF Murasame-class destroyer JS Samidare (DD 106) transit the Philippine Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA: An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter from the "Blue Hawks" of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 fires chaff flares during a training exercise near the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)
PHILIPPINE SEA: An MH-60R Sea Hawk helicopter from the “Blue Hawks” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 78 fires chaff flares during a training exercise near the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Sean M. Castellano/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the "Tomcatters" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 prepares to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the “Tomcatters” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 31 prepares to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Matt Matlage/Released)
BUSAN, Republic of Korea: The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrives in Busan for a scheduled port visit while conducting routine patrols throughout the western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jermaine Ralliford/Released)
BUSAN, Republic of Korea: The Ohio-class guided-missile submarine USS Michigan (SSGN 727) arrives in Busan for a scheduled port visit while conducting routine patrols throughout the western Pacific. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jermaine Ralliford/Released)
CARIBBEAN SEA: The Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Zephyr (PC 8) transits the Caribbean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Hopkins/Released)
CARIBBEAN SEA: The Cyclone-class coastal patrol ship USS Zephyr (PC 8) transits the Caribbean Sea. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Casey J. Hopkins/Released)
GUAM: A MK VI patrol boat assigned to Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1, Det. Guam, maneuvers off the coast of Guam. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alfred A. Coffield/Released)
GUAM: A MK VI patrol boat assigned to Coastal Riverine Group (CRG) 1, Det. Guam, maneuvers off the coast of Guam. (U.S. Navy Combat Camera photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Alfred A. Coffield/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the "Tridents" of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 carries cargo during a vertical replenishment aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jennifer M. Kirkman/Released)
ARABIAN GULF: An MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter assigned to the “Tridents” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 9 carries cargo during a vertical replenishment aboard the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Jennifer M. Kirkman/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) receives a refueling probe during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
MEDITERRANEAN SEA: The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross (DDG 71) receives a refueling probe during a replenishment-at-sea with the fleet replenishment oiler USNS Big Horn (T-AO 198). (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Robert S. Price/Released)
RED SEA: The guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) transits the Red Sea during a photo exercise to conclude Exercise Eagle Salute 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyrell K. Morris/Released)
RED SEA: The guided-missile destroyer USS Truxtun (DDG 103) transits the Red Sea during a photo exercise to conclude Exercise Eagle Salute 17. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Tyrell K. Morris/Released)

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Your Navy Operating Forward – Red Sea, Korea, Guam

U.S. Air Force: Sharpening our skills

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By Tech. Sgt. Anthony Nelson Jr. Air Force Social Media

Your U.S. Air Force is a global force. The complex operations and missions that our Airmen are responsible for stretch far beyond our nation’s borders into other areas of our world. You will take comfort in knowing our Airmen are constantly training and sharpening their skillset to meet the expectations of our leaders. Take a look below of a recent Pacific Theater exercise meant to ensure peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.

Staff Sgt. Christopher Uecker, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team chief, tightens a guided bomb unit onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The A-10 can hold up to 16,000 pounds of mixed ordnance, employing a wide variety of conventional munitions including general purpose bombs, cluster bomb units, laser guided bombs, joint direct attack munitions, rockets, illumination flares and the 30 millimeter cannon, capable of firing 3,900 rounds per minute. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Staff Sgt. Christopher Uecker, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team chief, tightens a guided bomb unit onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The A-10 can hold up to 16,000 pounds of mixed ordnance, employing a wide variety of conventional munitions including general purpose bombs, cluster bomb units, laser guided bombs, joint direct attack munitions, rockets, illumination flares and the 30 millimeter cannon, capable of firing 3,900 rounds per minute. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Airmen from the 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit load munitions onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. Exercises such as this help test team Osan's ability to survive and operate in wartime constraints. The weapons Airmen from the 25th AMU are responsible for 10 varieties of conventional munitions that can be loaded onto the A-10 frame. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Airmen from the 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit load munitions onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. Exercises such as this help test team Osan’s ability to survive and operate in wartime constraints. The weapons Airmen from the 25th AMU are responsible for 10 varieties of conventional munitions that can be loaded onto the A-10 frame. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Staff Sgt. Christopher Uecker, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team chief, tightens arming wire on an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The arming wire holds the guided bomb unit in place until proper aerial release. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Staff Sgt. Christopher Uecker, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team chief, tightens arming wire on an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The arming wire holds the guided bomb unit in place until proper aerial release. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Staff Sgt.Woodrow Walkup and Senior Airman Kameron Whitener, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team members, prepare to load 30 millimeter rounds onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The A-10 is a highly accurate and survivable weapons-delivery platform, capable of carrying up to 16,000 pounds of munitions including the 30 millimeter cannon which can penetrate tanks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Staff Sgt.Woodrow Walkup and Senior Airman Kameron Whitener, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team members, prepare to load 30 millimeter rounds onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The A-10 is a highly accurate and survivable weapons-delivery platform, capable of carrying up to 16,000 pounds of munitions including the 30 millimeter cannon which can penetrate tanks. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Senior Airman Kameron Whitener and Airman 1st Class Brandon Jones, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team members, prepare to load 30 millimeter rounds onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. Each team has three Airmen who are all responsible for different portions of the load. The one-man is the supervisor, the two-man is responsible for tools and aircraft preparation and the three-man is responsible for driving the jammer and munitions preparation. Without each member, the crews would not be able to properly load munitions in the safest way possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Senior Airman Kameron Whitener and Airman 1st Class Brandon Jones, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team members, prepare to load 30 millimeter rounds onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. Each team has three Airmen who are all responsible for different portions of the load. The one-man is the supervisor, the two-man is responsible for tools and aircraft preparation and the three-man is responsible for driving the jammer and munitions preparation. Without each member, the crews would not be able to properly load munitions in the safest way possible. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Weapons load crew team Airmen from the 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit prepare to load munitions onto A-10 Thunderbolt IIs during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The munitions Airmen can load up to 16,000 pounds of mixed ordnance onto the A-10 airframe. The A-10 is powered by two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofan engines producing 9,065 pounds of thrust each, and the A-10 is capable  of reaching speeds of 450 nautical miles per hour. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Weapons load crew team Airmen from the 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit prepare to load munitions onto A-10 Thunderbolt IIs during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The munitions Airmen can load up to 16,000 pounds of mixed ordnance onto the A-10 airframe. The A-10 is powered by two General Electric TF34-GE-100 turbofan engines producing 9,065 pounds of thrust each, and the A-10 is capable of reaching speeds of 450 nautical miles per hour. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Staff Sgt. Christopher Uecker and Senior Airman Nathan Smith, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team members, drive a guided bomb unit to be loaded onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The weapons section of the 25th AMU is responsible for the maintenance and loading of various missiles, pylons, and other armament systems onto the A-10 fleet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)
Staff Sgt. Christopher Uecker and Senior Airman Nathan Smith, 25th Aircraft Maintenance Unit weapons load crew team members, drive a guided bomb unit to be loaded onto an A-10 Thunderbolt II during the Vigilant Ace 16 exercise on Osan Air Base, Republic of Korea, Nov. 1, 2015. The weapons section of the 25th AMU is responsible for the maintenance and loading of various missiles, pylons, and other armament systems onto the A-10 fleet. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristin High/Released)

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U.S. Air Force: Sharpening our skills

Midshipmen Shine Light on Life as Military Kids

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Photo: Navy full back Noah Copeland rushes during the 113th Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., Dec.8, 2012. The Navy won 17-13, extending their winning streak against Army for the 11th straight year. D0D Photo by Marvin Lynchard

Navy full back Noah Copeland rushes during the 113th Army-Navy game at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pa., Dec.8, 2012. The Navy won 17-13, extending their winning streak against Army for the 11th straight year. (D0D photo by Marvin Lynchard/released)

Story by: Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Bryan Niegel, Defense Media Activity

Edited by Erin Wittkop

As we wrap up “Month of the Military Child,” I would like to reflect on the unique lives of military kids. Military children come from all walks of life and make a pretty fantastic contribution to our country as a result of their unique experiences.

These kids are faced with some major life challenges beginning at young ages. They have to deal with being separated from their parents for extended periods of time, not knowing if their mom or dad is safe, frequent moves and an ever-changing social landscape as they enroll in new schools and work to make new friends. Whether their parents joined after their birth or they were born to active-duty military parents, military kids own life stories begin to branch out in new and worldly ways the moment their parents don a uniform.

I recently had the chance to interview a few military children whose lives have been shaped by their parents’ service. They aren’t your average military kids, though; these “children” are students attending the United States Naval Academy and are players on the Navy Midshipmen football team.

These three athletes grew up as military children, yet came from different backgrounds and established their association with military life at different junctures in their lives.

“My dad wasn’t always gone but he left to Korea when I first started playing flag football; that was kind of hard. As a young kid you really don’t understand why your dad left,” said Midshipman Noah Copeland. “I didn’t understand anything he did until later on when I grew up.”

When Copeland was old enough to realize what his dad was doing and why he grew to have a greater admiration for his father and what he did for the family.

“Seeing my dad wake up early and come home really late, working those long hours just to provide for us, made me appreciate him more. Looking at it now [and reflecting on the person I’ve become], I appreciate him a lot more for everything that he did [to help me get where I am today].”

Coming from a different background and part of the country, Midshipman Shakir Robinson was a little different.

“I caught the tail end of my dad’s military career” Robinson said “[As a result of his military background,] my dad expected higher standards of me.”

Even though he had only spent a few years as a military child he still came out with a strong sense of respect and high expectations for himself, qualities that most would find exceptional for a person his age. I noticed this difference during the interview. Robinson carries himself with a poise that alludes to the reverence with which he regards service, duty, tradition and helping others. His teammates had it, too.

“It’s made me have a greater respect for people in the military,” Robinson added. He is inspired by the level of love that service members have for their country and the personal sacrifices that they are willing to make like being away from their families during deployments.

With a little more time as a military child, Midshipman Joe Cardona’s dad had to miss special occasions while he was going up.

“It was hard not having him there for football practices and sports practices. My mom was real strong; she just made everything normal for us,” Cardona said.

Despite the fact that his dad wasn’t always there for practices and events, Cardona still holds his dad in the highest regard.

“My military hero would be my dad. The way he balanced his military career with raising a family, I think that is something that I will always treasure and something that I will take as an example to try to set and to follow,” said Cardona.

After speaking with these military kids and soon-to-be service members, I have found a new respect for military children. There are not many kids in the world that have to deal with the unique stressors that military kids do and it’s amazing to see how resilient they become as result of it all. The strong bonds that they forge with their families and the values that they hold dear are awe inspiring.

———-

Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.

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Korean War Medal of Honor Recipient, Finally Resting in American Soil

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Maj. Gen. Michael S. Linnington, commanding general, Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region/Military District of Washington, hands a flag to Barbara (Bobbie) Broyles, during the funeral of her father, Lt. Col. Faith Jr., April 17, 2013, in Arlington National Cemetery, Va. He had been killed Dec. 1, 1950, near the Chosin Reservoir in North Korea.

By David Vergun

Lt. Col. Don C. Faith Jr., a World War II and Korean War veteran and Medal of Honor recipient, was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, Va., today.

Faith, who commanded 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division, was killed Dec. 2, 1950, by communist forces.

But it would take decades and a lot of help from other soldiers and Defense civilians before his remains were finally recovered in North Korea and identified. Only then could his family finally have the closure they so desperately wanted.

HAPPY MEMORIES

Barbara Broyles, or “Bobbie,” as she likes to be called, was only four years old when Faith left for Korea. She was young but still remembers. It would be the last time she would see her father alive.

“What I recall most about my father was that he was happy. I still can hear him laughing. He enjoyed life. And above all, he enjoyed the Army,” she said.

Bobbie said her father used to read to her from his own childhood books, a collection of six volumes titled “The Old House.” She said when he left for Korea, her mother, also named Barbara, read those books to her. She still has them.

President Harry S. Truman awarded the Medal of Honor, posthumously, to her father 18 months after his death. It was Gen. Omar N. Bradley who presented the medal to her mother, June 21, 1951.

Faith was born in 1918 and grew up in Washington, Ind. After the Dec. 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, many Americans flocked to recruiting stations. However, Faith had decided to join the Army months before.

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A photo of Capt. Don C. Faith Jr. during World War II, wearing his 82nd Airborne patch. By the end of the war, he was a lieutenant colonel and had earned two Bronze Stars. Eventually he would get the Medal of Honor for his actions in Korea, where he was killed. Courtesy photo

In February 1942, he received his commission and was assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division, where he served with great distinction in the North Africa campaign and later in Europe. He was awarded two Bronze Star Medals.

Following the war, Faith served in China and then Japan. He was in Japan when the war in Korea started in the summer of 1950.

A lieutenant colonel at that time, he was given command of 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry, a unit that would soon be in the thick of the fighting.

MEDAL OF HONOR

Some of the fiercest fighting of the war took place in the vicinity of a place called Chosin Reservoir in North Korea in November and December 1950. That’s where Faith and his battalion were when the Chinese decided to enter the war. The Chinese sent thousands of troops south across the Yalu River into Korea.

The entry of China into the war and their drive south into Korea surprised the Americans who were quickly outnumbered and outgunned.

Faith’s Medal of Honor citation describes the action he took during this attack, noting that he “personally led counterattacks to restore (the battalion’s) position” and link up with other units, as they’d been disbursed by the enemy’s “fanatical attack.”

“Although physically exhausted in the bitter cold, (he) organized and launched an attack which was soon stopped by enemy fire,” the citation reads. “He ran forward under enemy small-arms and automatic weapons fire, got his men on their feet and personally led the fire attack as it blasted its way through the enemy ring.

“As they came to a hairpin curve, enemy fire from a roadblock again pinned the column down. Lt. Col. Faith organized a group of men and directed their attack on the enemy positions on the right flank. He then placed himself at the head of another group of men and in the face of direct enemy fire led an attack on the enemy roadblock, firing his pistol and throwing grenades.

“When he had reached a position approximately 30 yards from the roadblock, he was mortally wounded, but continued to direct the attack until the roadblock was overrun.

“Throughout the five days of action Lt. Col. Faith gave no thought to his safety and did not spare himself. His presence each time in the position of greatest danger was an inspiration to his men. Also, the damage he personally inflicted firing from his position at the head of his men was of material assistance on several occasions. …”

FAITH’S REPATRIATION

Faith was killed Dec. 1, 1950, in the vicinity of Hagaru-ri, North Korea. He was 32 years old at the time.

What follows is an account of his repatriation, the process of returning his remains to the United States. Leading the effort was Faith’s daughter, Bobbie. She was helped by a lot of dedicated men and women of the Department of Defense.

In the decades that followed the Korean War, thousands of remains of service members missing in action in Korea were recovered and returned home. In September 2004, some remains were excavated in the vicinity of Chosin Reservoir by the Joint Prisoners of War, Missing in Action Accounting Command, or JPAC.

Among the remains were those of Faith, according to Michael J. Mee, chief, Identifications Past Conflict Repatriations Branch, Human Resources Command.

Once those remains were recovered, they were sent to the Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory, or AFDIL, located in Dover, Del. AFDIL’s Central Identification Laboratory then made a positive DNA match, using a sample Bobbie had provided, Mee said.

Mee and two others who work for him collect DNA samples from MIA relatives, if they are willing to provide them. The lab keeps all the DNA samples on file, Mee explained, in case remains are ever found.

He said the procedure for extracting the DNA is painless, involving a simple cheek swab.

As an aside, since the 1990s, all service members’ DNA is on file at the lab.

Faith’s remains were among the last to come out of North Korea, said Mee. In 2005, North Korea prohibited JPAC teams from doing any more work there.

The process of obtaining the remains of service members in North Korea has always been peculiar, Mee said.

The North Koreans “rarely ever let us go to a primary burial site,” he said. “They would take remains from a primary burial location and rebury them somewhere else.

“Then, they’d come up with a witness who would tell the JPAC team members, ‘look over here, dig here.’ Whatever their rationale was, I can’t explain it,” he said.

Despite this peculiar custom, Mee said the JPAC team members were nonetheless happy to get remains out of the country. He said he hopes one day the North Koreans will again let the teams do their work there.

Faith’s remains were not positively identified until Aug. 14, 2012, Mee said, using five DNA sequences from the recovery site.

Eight years seems like a long time from when Faith’s remains were found to when he was identified, but AFDIL is backlogged with work, Mee said.

JPAC provides the labs with about 100 remains a year, Mee said. More than half of them are soldiers.

He said sorting through the remains is laborious work and that members of AFDIL liken the process to putting together a giant jigsaw puzzle without first seeing a picture of how it’s supposed to eventually look.

Sorting the remains of service members from North Korea is a particularly daunting task, he added, not just because they are re-interred in secondary grave sites, but also because the records North Koreans provide are often not reliable.

Mee cited an example of the difficulty.

In the mid-1990s, the North Koreans turned over 208 boxes to the United Nations, he said. Those boxes, which are referred to as K208, were full of remains that were co-mingled. The lab is still working today on identifying those.

Using DNA samples alone can be challenging, since so many people share similar snippets of DNA, Mee said. If teeth are found, that is much more reliable, he said. But the lab can only work with what they get, which often is very little.

Working to bring home all or most of those still missing in action will take years, if not decades.

“Most Americans don’t realize that there are 87,000 unaccounted-for service members who never came home,” Mee said. That number includes around 83,000 from World War II, Korea and Southeast Asia, primarily Vietnam. Remains from those three wars constitute the bulk of the work being done now by JPAC and AFDIL.

MEETING BOBBIE

Over the years, Bobbie has been in close contact with the accounting community, which includes JPAC, AFDIL and other organizations.

In the 1990s, Bobbie got to meet the men who were in Faith’s battalion when she was invited to Fort Drum, N.Y., for the christening of the headquarters building in her father’s name.

Bobbie said meeting the survivors of the battle left a deep and lasting impression on her.

“They told me, ‘we would have followed him anywhere. We would have followed him to hell and back,’” she said, adding that many of the veterans said they are alive today only because of him.

Mee, who has been with the program since 2009, said he had the honor of calling Bobbie with the good news that the remains of her father were positively identified. He said she had been in contact with the accounting community for years, hoping they could locate the remains of her father and return them to the United States.

Within just days of telling Bobbie the good news, Mee scheduled a meeting with her in October 2012 in her home in Baton Rouge, La.

Mee and 17 case managers who work for him meet with the next of kin whenever remains are positively identified. The meeting takes at least three hours, he said.

During that meeting, relatives are given an in-depth briefing of how and where the remains were found. The team uses skeletal diagrams, for instance, to illustrate the condition of the remains recovered. Additionally, the team reviews the entire repatriation procedure — from lab to eventual burial.

“If any material effects were found, watch, ring, dog tags, uniform items, coins, lighter, insignia, toothbrush, eyeglasses and so on, we try to return them to the family,” he explained.

Accompanying Mee at the visit was a casualty assistance officer from nearby Fort Polk.

The meeting with Bobbie “was a big deal for her and her family,” Mee said. “We’ve known for years that she was looking forward to this day.”

He added that Bobbie was especially appreciative of the very detailed briefing which was given to her at her home.

“These people (the accounting community) are absolutely astounding,” Bobbie said.

Bobbie said she hopes others who are waiting for the return of their loved ones will find a measure of peace and closure, like she has.

And for his part, Mee said he hopes to help make that happen.

“Repatriation is one of the most rewarding and honorable missions I’ve ever performed,” he said.

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Korean War Medal of Honor Recipient, Finally Resting in American Soil