POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony

At the reception following the POW/MIA Recognition Day Ceremony, former prisoner of war Leo M. Schocker (left), talks with the keynote speaker, Larry Greer, director of public affairs for the DOD POW/MIA Personnel Office. Schocker was a radio operator with the Army’s 17th Airborne. He was imprisoned in Stalag 9B from Jan. 7, 1945 through the end of World War II. “They called it the death camp because it was one of the worst,” he said. During his speech, Greer discussed the POW/MIA Personnel Office’s mission. He said the office is able to identify remains recovered overseas through mitochrondrial DNA testing using a DNA sample from a blood relative. When a blood relative is unavailable, in some cases, the office has been able to make a positive identification in other ways. Greer recounted a touching story where a widow had a saved boxes of love letters from her missing-in-action husband. Because she had opened each letter on the side with a pair of scissors, the POW/MIA office was able to extract the servicemember’s saliva from the envelope’s seal. The office was successful in making a positive identification of the husband’s remains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Linda Welz)

PHOTO BY: Linda Welz
VIRIN: 100924-F-3456W-001.JPG
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