|Published:||Sep 28, 2012 7:29 PM EDT|
|Updated:||Sep 28, 2012 7:29 PM EDT|
FORT MYERS, Fla. - The Department of Defense has identified the remains of a World War II vet, who has been missing in action since 1943. The Florida panhandle man was buried on Friday, September 28th at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors.
"The fact that the Department of Defense continues to put significant resources into returning them home makes the sacrifice on the battlefield worthwhile," Scollen said, "I belong to the Vietnam Veterans of America. We start each meeting with a prayer and the pledge, and then we pause for a moment, to pay respect for all of those who never made it home."
Wink News spoke to Jim Scollen, a Lee County man who makes it his mission to help families get closure.
The State Coordinator for the Missing in America Project, Scollen, along with volunteers across the country, find and identify these so-called cremains.
In 2010, Scollen read an article that inspired him to join the effort to bring these military men and women to their final resting places.
Here in Florida, they have found 187 unidentified remains, sitting in canisters, or on the shelves of funeral homes.
"So these are soldiers who came back and as a result of the way they conducted their life die alone," he said.
But with research and diligence, 33 of the 187 people discovered have been identified as veterans and will get military burials giving closure to their relatives and descendants.
"They're just so happy to be able to close the book on that portion of their life," Scollen said.
Of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II, more than 400,000 died. Today, more than 73,000 are unaccounted-for.
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