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WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Deb Fischer (R-NE) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today secured $10 million of increased funding for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to support Korean War recovery and identification efforts, and to ensure that remains of U.S. service members in Korea can be safely returned home. The Fischer-Baldwin amendment passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate as part of the FY2019 Defense Appropriations legislation.
“Brave heroes fought for this country during the Korean War, including more than 100 Wisconsin men missing in action or killed in Korea,” said Senator Baldwin, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “I’m proud to see our bipartisan amendment move forward today, and to secure the funding needed to help account for our fallen heroes and give their families hope. We have an eternal bond with the Wisconsin sons and daughters who made the ultimate sacrifice and this effort can help strengthen this bond.”
“The families of American men and women lost in service deserve closure. Our amendment would provide the resources needed to conduct forensic analysis of these new remains of Americans who served in the Korean War. It would also ensure the lab at Offutt isn’t negatively affected by shortfalls due to this influx of work. I’d like to thank my colleagues for supporting this effort to properly honor the memory of our missing and fallen service members,” said Senator Fischer.
“The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is incredibly encouraged that North Korea has returned 55 boxes of remains believed to be U.S. service members who have been missing in action since the Korean War,” said VFW National Security and Foreign Affairs Director John Towles. “The VFW thanks Senators Fischer and Baldwin for their leadership to make certain the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency receives the funding it needs to reunite our fallen heroes with their loved ones.”
Earlier this month, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that more than 100 Wisconsin men went missing in action or were killed and their bodies were never recovered in Korea. The remains of Sgt. Rufus L. Ketchum were identified in April and he was laid to rest in Superior last week with full military honors. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are also partnering with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency to help identify remains of America’s fallen heroes so they can be returned home.
Text of the amendment is available here.