Missing In America Project

MISSING IN AMERICA PROJECT

I recently joined the Greater Omaha Genealogical Society and they asked me to give a talk about the Pottawattamie County (Iowa) Genealogical Society, of which I’m the new president. Over the years our two societies drifted apart and we knew very little about each other. As a result, we are now both eager to share information and maybe even co-host a large national genealogical seminar in the future. Several GOGS members attended our Danish Workshop in September. At the meeting I attended, one of their members talked about the Missing In America Project. It sounded like a very worth-while project and I visited their website at miap.us and joined. Since then I’ve been working as a genealogist with two extremely dedicated veterans in Omaha, Bill Henry and Larry Schaber. These two guys just don’t quit! They are now helping me as I have taken on Western Iowa as coordinator. After reading below, if you have an interest in doing some research for us, primarily in trying to find next of kin of these forgotten veterans, please contact me at omahabob@cox.net.

Mission:

The mission of the MIAP project is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans through the joint efforts of private, state and federal organizations; to provide honor and respect to those who have served this country, by securing a final resting place for these forgotten heroes. If these forgotten veterans have no family to invite us, do we leave them sitting in a storage closet, or do we show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes and work to ensure a dignified resting place to honor the veteran, their family and their community?

History:

During an inventory of a crematorium, two cremation urns were discovered in a closet storage facility. The urns contained the unclaimed remains of Sgt. Trueman, a veteran of the Vietnam conflict and his wife (also a veteran). The year of death for Sgt. Trueman was 1979. For 27 years the resting place for Sgt. and Mrs. Trueman was a storage facility in a crematorium. Other funeral homes and crematoriums were inventoried. Other unclaimed remains of veterans were discovered. In November 2006, the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery interred 21 cremated remains of forgotten veterans, with full military honors and the dignity these fallen heroes so richly deserve. This incident inspired MIAP.

Scope:

The MIAP project is two-fold. The initial focus of MIAP encompasses a massive, nation-wide effort to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed remains of forgotten veterans. This task will be executed through the combined, cooperative efforts of citizens, volunteer service and veteran  organizations, funeral homes, state funeral commissions, State and National Veterans Administration agencies, and the State and National Veterans Cemetery Administrations. Local, state and national laws must be followed in the identification, claiming process and proper interment of our forgotten veterans. This is strictly a volunteer organization with no salaries, compensation or reimbursement of expenses paid to the board of directors, officers or volunteers. Donations are used for the printing of flyers, burial fees, liability insurance, education of the public, locating next of kin and the purchase of urns.

MIAP is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization.   IRS EIN: 20-84088320.

MIAP website is at http://www.miap.us

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Comments

  1. Aaron Jones says:

    Hi Bob, THis sounds like a great project. Would love to be of assistance, but as computer illiterate as I am I would be more a liability than an asset. Know that you and your volunteers will do your very best to complete this project. I don’t see how you are going to find a way to “rust out” the way you are going. Ha. God bless, guide and use you as you continue to reach out to this community. Bob, would you be available some Monday Noon at Madison Ave. Hy-Vee in Council bluffs to share your work with our Downtown Kiwanis Club. Don’t know when we have a Monday unscheduled, but sounds like a great program that many of our group would really be interested in and some might even be able to get on board and help a bit.

    WE need to get together one of these days for a breakfast or lunch at 11 Worth or someplace. Maybe just drop by YOUR place and visit for a bit. We missed another family reunion and I really don’t want to lose that part of our family life. I realize the great outward stretch of the family doesn’t care to come, but I always enjoy those that DO.

    God Bless you, Bob. Love you. Aaron

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