I am with the Connecticut Patriot Guard Riders MIAP Project and once we identify the Veterans I travel to the city/town they came from and get a copy of their Dishcarge papers so I can enter them on the WWII Registry of Remembrances, Army and or Navy Memorial Logs so they will be remembered for their service to America. When asked if I am a Family Member I reply that no one came for their remains so I guess we are Their Family. Always brings tears to the City/Town Clerks Offices eyes and they thank me for doing it. So many more to identify and bring home.
I have observed many MIAP services and they are very good. All display great concern, care and dignity in providing for their fallen comrades. The group strives to find all those abandon on shelves or forgotten in unmarked graves. It is definitely 'the right thing to do.'
Being a member of the Misssing In America Project I can honestly say the group, from the founder, Fred Salanti,to the Board Of Directors and officers and coordinators to the volunteers all are dedicated to accomplising our mission." Locate,verify military status, and inter with full military honors the unclaimed, cremated remains of our fallen heros.It's the right thing to do.
My first experience with the missing in America project was meeting Rick Prioetti and he was telling about the starting up of the project, next thing I heard about was the honor to Arlington project which was totally overwhelling to me to think about all the work that went into getting this project together. I got more information and details on the Honors to Arlington through a Channel 7 news story my own Son did on the MIAP. Then we meet again at a Viet Nam Veterans of America State Council meeting in Fresno where Fred Salanti did a presentation on MIAP, listening to Fred and the passion in his voice about the project locked me in as a supporter and I encourage my V.V.A. chapter to support them with some funds. Being able to follow the ride to Arlington by internet was a genius idea and gathered more supporters along the way. What we are most proud and supportive of is the MIAP is a National project started in our own backyard Shata County. My next experience with MIAP was our chapters planning to celebrate The Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day Celebration on Sat. March 27. The idea came up to do a Motorcade from the Vets hall to the Igo Vets Cemetery. I knew exactly who to contact...MIAP. I got in contact with Rick P and he talked to Fred and they did what I wished and expected them to do, they took the motorcade over as a MIAP project and that is one thing about the celebration we did not have to worry about, It was done! They have been to every planning meeting actually a few more than myself. MIAP is an asset to the County, Community and Veterans Community. Thank you M.I.A.P. Eddie McAllister Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 357 President 530-524-7504
I am not sure when I first became a supporter of the MIAP/Missing in America Project. But as time passes so quickly for me these days, I would probably be safe in saying it has been about 2 years. I know I became involved in the early days because I saw what they were doing as no less important than the soldier down on the field of battle, alive or dead, being dragged and carried back to his own line, by another, who lived/lives by the credo no man left behind. As hard as they try, some are still left behind and become what we call MIA’s. Those veterans, who return home from active duty, often come home with scars left from the “battle.” They sometimes drop out from productive life as those of us more fortunate, call it. And when they pass, often become the “MIA’s” in America. For whatever reason, they lie, unclaimed by anyone, on mortuary shelves in containers; some for many years. In my association with the MIAP, I have been honored to help many times, in the laying to rest of these “MIA’s.” They were lost, but not forgotten by the MIAP. May of 2009, The MIAP took three very highly decorated, veterans remains to Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. We took them from Redding CA, then Sacramento, CA, to be placed in their proper resting places of honor. We escorted them in a motorcycle procession, with pride in the knowledge we were giving them the proper honors. No one in this organization takes any profit, we all give gladly of our time and resources to make this happen. The MIAP has become nationally recognized, and continues to locate veterans in need of “family” to give them their final honors. I hope people across this nation can help in this endeavor. Bert Stead MIAP Escort Rider Redding, CA
The experience was unforgettable, amazing and unique in many ways! Eric and I, the photographers and medical support for the troops, we enjoyed the trip, created bond with the veterans and learned this group of people on very deep emotional level, how much they need each other, to share the memories, the feelings they have been hiding for years and their vast experience. We have gained unmeasurable knowledge about our past from first hand, we looked into their soles, we shared the pain and joy with them along the way. It was a rare opportunity for us and we thank you, Fred Salanti, MIAP for that! Read our book "Honors at Arlington" at blurb.com Larissa Browning and Eric Matchko
Since becoming involved with this organization I have had the opportunity to serve the veteran community and observe the family reactions to what MIAP dces. This is an amazingly dedicated group who reaches out to do the right thing...because it is the right thing to do. The best of the best...that is MIAP!
Since being involved, I've seen the slow process of politics. Here in Colorado when the funeral homes were approached, they wouldn't even talk to us because of how the law was written. Even though the law stated "that the remains could only be released to a responsible party", the attorneys interpreted that to mean "only a family member". I had met and talked to Representative Don Marostica before, and approached him about getting the law changed. He was very helpful in getting this accomplished. About one year later the law was signed by Governor Ritter and took effect immediately. It now states "that the remains can be released to any Veterans organization", which we believe should be Ft. Logan. We have been trying for about one year now to get the funeral homes cooperation, but their lawyers are dragging their feet looking at it to make sure that they wouldn't be held liable in case of a law suit. We meet with the owner of one of the largest funeral Holmes here in Denver this week end to see if we can't get going on this. Hopefully the first time we can do an escort, and get some press coverage to help get the word out about MIAP. We have a scheduled service the second Saturday of each month that covers all of the unclaimed remains that come into Ft. Logan each month, so after the initial escort, and hopefully press coverage, these unclaimed remains will start to come in each month and be covered by this service, so they all get the Honors that they so much deserve. It's been slow but hopefully all of our efforts will pay off soon.
I am very involved in Veterans issues in St. Johns County, FL. Myself and others canvassed the funeral homes in the ares, it was discovered that we had the cremains of a veteran that had not been claimed by his family. Thanks to the information supplied by the Missing in America Project, we were able to provide the honors due this veteran and give him a final resting place respectful of his service.
I am the Commander of Hu Puus Witam Color Guard, Shasta County, California, consisting of American Indian Military Veterans from WW11 to date. Hu Puus Witasm Color Guard is dedicated to providing Military protocol and American Indian burial ceremonies at both Veterans Cemetaries and Private Indian burial grounds, MIAP people have recovered from mortuaries and brought to us cremains from WW1, WW11, for final/proper rites. Without MIAP we would not have known about our forgotten Native brothers and sisters. The Hu Puus Witam Color Guard of Shasta Co, Ca applaud the Missing In America Program founded by Fred Salanti et.,al. MIAP has found many of our forgotten so we can provide proper Mil & Indian final rites. Thank you MIAP. signed/ M. Gail Hawthorne, Comdr., HPWCG< Sha Co, Ca Vet, 9+ yrs US Army (Cold War/Korea Vet)