[su_heading size=”24″ margin=”0″]Navy SEAL Looks For Those Missing In Action[/su_heading]
Interview by Danielle Breteau
[su_dropcap style=”light” size=”4″]T[/su_dropcap]here are endless great causes out there and many dedicated to our veterans. Some are focused on our wounded, others solely to Special Forces and yet others might only address a specific demographic or mission. There is yet another group that many have forgotten, but they are never far from the hearts and memories of their brothers in arms and families. Battlefield Recovery is solely dedicated to locating, recovering and returning the remains of 83,112 servicemen and -women still listed as missing in action (MIA). These are veterans who expand past the barriers of specific groups – they belong to all of us.
Meet Frank Lauria, a retired Navy SEAL (over 20 years), former Director of Advanced Training for Navy SEALs with over 35 years in special operations and contract security work on six continents, who has multiple agency high-level clearances and has lead paramilitary operations with up to 2,000 multinational personnel. This only touches on a small portion of Lauria’s background and expertise, but he is now dedicated to the mission of finding our lost and forgotten, and has created a charity organization called Battlefield Recovery to do just that. Lauria’s goal is summed up by their motto: “Let’s bring them home.”
American Shooting JournalWhat is Battlefield Recovery?
Frank LauriaWe are a nonprofit 501(c)3 service-disabled veteran organization solely dedicated to locating, recovering and returning with the honor they earned the remains of the most forgotten and neglected of all veterans – those missing in action. Every service member knows the code: no one left behind!
What many do not realize is that tens of thousands of soldiers still remain listed as MIA:
[su_box title=”Listed As MIA” style=”soft” box_color=”#e6041b” title_color=”#ffffff” radius=”4″]
World War II – 73,515
Korean Conflict – 7,839
Cold War – 126
Vietnam – 1,626
Other Conflicts – 6[/su_box]
Unfortunately, for many who made the ultimate sacrifice to their nation, that promise has yet to be honored. Battlefield Recovery is an organization of men and women dedicated to fulfilling that promise. We decided someone has to do something.
ASJThis seems like quite a daunting task.Who are the people on your team?
FL At our core, the team consists of a highly decorated senior NCO from the Army’s Special Forces and survival expert, a former Marine sergeant, a dedicated law enforcement professional, the families who lost one of their own, and me. A few of us met while working together in Iraq, and through our own experiences in high-threat situations, we know the value of being absolutely certain someone would care enough to come and go to the ends of the earth to bring us home. No one deserves to die alone and forgotten. Battlefield Recovery wants to be there until every story ends.
ASJ When do you expect to go on your first mission?
FL We are planning two missions starting in the fall of 2016. One to Papua New Guinea, north of Australia, and the other to Guadalcanal in the southwest Pacific. Logistics will determine which mission starts first, and we plan to leverage the latest technology and expertise of dedicated researchers, archeologists and field workers. No stone will be left unturned. No jungle left unsearched, and no location is too remote.
ASJ What if a family member wants your help to find a veteran who is MIA. Can they reach out to you for help?
FL Yes! We are already building our mission schedule, and have not even scratched the surface of knowing each and every story. We want to hear from these families, what they know of the final incident and what the impact has been to their families. We want to know their story.
ASJ How can people help bring our brothers in arms home?
FL There are a few ways to help. Many people have immeasurable expertise to include first-hand knowledge of areas, the backstory and historical data. We will be looking for more people to help with every individual mission. Each one is unique. People can also assist by making a tax-deductible donation so that the equipment, research vessels, dive and expedition gear can be readily accessed so no mission is ever without support. Help us return those who have been waiting for so long.
ASJ Thank you, Frank
FL My pleasure, thank you. ASJ
Editor’s note: If you want to help Battlefield Recovery or have a story of your own, visit them at BattlefieldRecovery.com.