25th ID Tropic Lightning chaplains learn how DPAA brings our troops home

| April 11, 2018 | 0 Comments
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Chaplains from the 25th Infantry Division culminate their visit of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency March 29, 2018 with a photo. They toured the DPAA in order to get a better understanding of the care and respect that goes into investigating, recovering, and identifying our lost heroes. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Llyod Justine Villanueva, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Public Affairs /Released).

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Chaplains from the 25th Infantry Division culminate their visit of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency March 29, 2018 with a photo. They toured the DPAA in order to get a better understanding of the care and respect that goes into investigating, recovering, and identifying our lost heroes. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Llyod Justine Villanueva, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency Public Affairs)

Story and photos by
Sgt. Ian Ives
25th Infantry Division

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM — Chaplains from the 25th Infantry Division visited Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency at Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on March 29, in an effort to better understand the process of bringing lost American service members back home.

The DPAA’s mission is to investigate, recover, and identify those determined as missing in action during our Nation’s past conflicts. Once a service member is identified, designated Primary Next of Kin are notified by their respective Casualty Affairs Office and are given full military honors.

“We only get to see the tail end of it as we perform memorials, but it’s important to see the process that happens beforehand,” said Chaplain (Maj.) Brian Hargis, the officer in charge of the 25th Sustainment Brigade unit ministry team.

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Linda A. Read, community relations officer, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, explains the process of recovering fallen service members from past conflicts to chaplains assigned to the 25th Infantry Division March 29, 2018. The chaplains toured the DPAA in order to get a better understanding of the care and respect that goes into investigating, recovering, and identifying our lost heroes. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 25th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs /Released).

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS, Hawaii – Linda A. Read, community relations officer, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, explains the process of recovering fallen service members from past conflicts to chaplains assigned to the 25th Infantry Division March 29, 2018. The chaplains toured the DPAA in order to get a better understanding of the care and respect that goes into investigating, recovering, and identifying our lost heroes. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ian Ives, 25th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs /Released).

Hargis served as the chaplain of 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Inf. Div. in 2016 when a Soldier was killed at Kahuku Training Area in a training accident.

While DPAA’s primary mission is to locate missing service members, they also provide mortuary affairs support for accidents that occur locally.

During the visit to DPAA, Linda A. Read, the community officer, explained the process of recovery missions and some of the more specific things that are done in order to identify a service member.

Above all, Read explained, she said that the most important was treating the service member with dignity and respect.

“We want to always remember that this was someone’s father, husband, son, or great grandfather,” said Read.

Hargis said that he will never forget the fallen service members that he has served alongside.

“Chaplains have the ability to impact how families deal with the loss of their loved ones, and learning how the DPAA operates helps us empathize with them that much more during their time of need,” said Hargis.

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