Four members of Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1048 in Daytona Beach, Fla., are participating in the national Missing in America Project, which aims to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of U.S. veterans and their loved ones.
Made up of chapter President Rod Phillips and members Bob Adkins, Gabe Sanchez and Jim Drake, the committee will launch the effort at Volusia Memorial Park in Volusia County with the help of Bob Clark, director of family services. “We have a slogan amongst us that says we will never leave a veteran behind, and this falls under that slogan,” committee chair Adkins said.
So far, MIAP participants in Florida have visited more than 150 funeral homes, leading to the internment of 220 veterans, 92 spouses and a dependent; 77 more are ready for internment. On a national level, MIAP has visited 2,288 funeral homes, identified 3,986 veterans, spouses and dependents, and interred 3,656.
The goal is also to reunite the remains of veterans with their families and allow them to make a decision on their final resting places. “If we can identify a veteran that’s in this status and give them a proper burial, then we’ve accomplished something,” Clark told the Ormond Beach Observer.