Long after they died, military sees surge in identification

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American and POW flags

BELLEVUE, Neb. – Decades after they died, the military is seeing a surge in identifications of U.S. service members who had been classified as missing in action.

The number of identifications is expected to reach 200 this year, more than triple what used to be the norm.

The increase by the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency is credited to increased funding and new techniques for tracking remains and identifying them. The soaring number of identifications followed years of complaints that the process was ineffective.

The increase has led to a surge of long-delayed memorial services and burials across the country as families and entire communities honor those killed.

Joani McGinnis, of Shenandoah, Iowa, said her family is planning a service Friday now that they understand what happened to her uncle, Sgt. Melvin. C. Anderson.

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