WHAT IS MISSING IN AMERICA PROJECT
The mission of the MIAP project is to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed cremated remains of veterans through the joint efforts of private, state and federal organizations; to provide honor and respect to those who have served this country, by securing a final resting place for these forgotten heroes.
If these forgotten veterans have no family to invite us, do we leave them sitting in a storage closet, or do we show our sincere respect for our fallen heroes and work to ensure a dignified resting place to honor the veteran, their family and their community?
During an inventory of a crematorium, two cremation urns were discovered in a closet storage facility. The urns contained the unclaimed remains of Sgt. Trueman, a veteran of the Vietnam conflict and his wife (also a veteran). The year of death for Sgt. Trueman was 1979. For 27 years the resting place for Sgt. and Mrs. Trueman was a storage facility in a crematorium. Other funeral homes and crematoriums were inventoried. Other unclaimed remains of veterans were discovered. In November 2006, the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery interred 21 cremated remains of forgotten veterans, with full military honors and the dignity these fallen heroes so richly deserve. This incident inspired MIAP.
The MIAP project is two-fold. The initial focus of the MIAP project encompasses a massive, nation-wide effort to locate, identify and inter the unclaimed remains of forgotten veterans. This task will be executed through the combined, cooperative efforts of citizens, volunteer service and veteran organizations, funeral homes, state funeral commissions, State and National Veterans Administration agencies, and the State and National Veterans Cemetery Administrations. Local, state and national laws must be followed in the identification, claiming process and proper interment of our forgotten veterans.
This will be a lengthy project and will require many man-hours to ensure that we have done our utmost to discover every forgotten veteran and procure, for each, a dignified resting place. This will also be a labor of love, a task of redemption, for a debt of service that can never be repaid.
MIAP will be a long-term project but not time sensitive
Since the success of the MIAP project lies with the cooperative efforts of many organizations and agencies, we will employ a standardized organizational structure. It is our hope that we will meld personnel from a variety of organizations, provide logistical and administrative support and avoid duplication of efforts by our volunteers.
MIAP is an all-volunteer project. The only requirement to join us is a desire to help our veterans attain the military honor and respect due them by virtue of their service to our great country.
MIAP MONTANA STATE CHAPTER CHAPLAIN
(Chaplain Rikki speaking at 2015 Interment Ceremony. Chaplain Rikki receiving the flag of one of the veterans remembered and laid to rest in 2015.)
Mrs. Rev. Rikki Perkins is the MIAP Montana State Chapter Chaplain. For information regarding the Montana State Chapter, please view her video and follow her on Facebook. There you will find information on upcoming Montana funeral escorts and interment ceremonies.
Photo Album on Flickr: Montana MIAP