HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Senate unanimously adopted Senate Resolution 159, introduced by Senator Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) Chairwoman of the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee, to recognize a national project to recover POWs and MIAs.
The Pennsylvania Project assists federal agencies in locating the families of missing soldiers from the Korean and Cold Wars and the Vietnam War to obtain mitochondrial DNA samples. As part of this effort, the project works to declassify Korean and Cold War era documents and to increase government awareness of POW/MIA issues. Once implemented in Pennsylvania, the project is set to be introduced across the nation.
“I want to commend the commitment of Robin Piacine, president of both the Pennsylvania Project and the National Coalition of Families of the Korean and Cold War POW/MIA, who has worked tirelessly with the Department of Defense to launch this national initiative here in Pennsylvania,” Baker said. Piacine of Mechanicsburg, PA established the program in honor of her uncle, a Cold War MIA.
The project also encourages veterans to offer critical information about the possible location of fallen and missing comrades so that the Department of Defense can deploy search and rescue teams to recover and identify the remains.
According to figures compiled by the Department of Defense’s Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, more than 88,000 United States soldiers never returned home after fighting for the United States in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the Gulf War.
Officials believe there are recoverable remains for more than 45,000 of these soldiers in Europe, the Pacific, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East.
In Pennsylvania, 702 families are still waiting for their loved ones – soldiers who served in the Cold War, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War – to come home.
“The Pennsylvania Project gives hope that missing soldiers might find their way home and that their families might finally find peace,” Baker added.
Contact: Brian Grove