New Government Agency Helps Oklahoma POW/MIA Families
OKLAHOMA CITY - Often years and even decades may pass before military families know anything about their loved ones who may be missing in action.
But Saturday a new military agency traveled to Norman to aid those families, and it helped some remember the ones they love.
As the POW/MIA flag flew high, it represented each man and woman that's a prisoner of war or missing in action.
For Charlotte and Barbara, behind the silhouette was a husband, father and Air Force Captain Guy Laney.
"It really never goes away. It may have happened 60 years ago, but you still feel that loss and you still feel that emptiness, it really doesn't go away," said Charlotte Young, whose father is MIA.
In 1951 while serving in the Korean War as a pilot, Capt. Laney went missing in action.
Then in 1953 he was declared deceased.
But now thanks to a brand new agency within the Department of Defense, families like the Laney's have comfort like never before.
"It's been really good, I mean I feel like we're still honoring him and that's what we should do," said Barbara Laney Nicholson, whose husband is MIA.
Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency holds family updates across the nation for families to gather, talk and also learn about the agency's latest scientific tools like DNA testing and dental records.
The agency hopes to find every single missing service member from World War II to current conflicts.
"We are reminded to that our government is keeping that promise that no man's left behind," said Young.
"We do owe it to them. Our nation owes a debt of gratitude because their loss their sacrifice is our freedom today," said Lt. Col. Melinda Morgan, Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency.
A freedom that both Charlotte and Barbara know their Capt. Laney helped secure.
"Always a sense of pride. Always to hear the star spangled banner and see the flag. A big sense of pride," said Young.
As of this month, there are just more than 1,600 Oklahomans still missing in action from the Vietnam, Korean and Cold War as well as World War II.
In total, there are still more than 83,000 service members still missing in action.