Saturday, April 23, 2016

Society Saturday - Fulfilling our nation's promise

The speaker for the US Daughter of 1812 was Rear Admiral Donna Crisp.  She is retired from the US Navy and now works on recovering remains of servicemen lost overseas.

There are 83000 servicemen whose remains are still overseas and unidentified since world war 1.  Admiral Crisp told us about several stages of recovery, removal and repatriation.

First, teams work with local residents and archeologists to find unidentified grave sites.  Often this location is based on local legend of hidden mass graves.  It can be dangerous work since there may be unexplored ordinates in the area.  Only a small portion of remains may be in existence.

Once remains are recovered, they are examined at laboratories in Hawaii and Maryland.  Identification is done by dental records,skeletal records, information on height, gender, previous injuries and DNA.
There are some additional means of identification which include recreating 3D models of skulls, and matching eyeglass prescriptions.

It is tedious but important work, to fulfill our Nation's promise to bring all servicemen and women back home.

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