Family Reference Samples (FRS) Program
Jennifer S. Morrison - Chair.
Thank you for your interest in the FRS Program!
We are civilian volunteers looking for the family members of our unaccounted-for military personnel who perished in Southeast Asia, Korea, the Cold War or World War II. Our mission in researching these families is to identify, locate and contact surviving family members so that the military can coordinate the submission of a family DNA sample for the identification of their loved one’s remains. The goal is to bring them home. It’s an honor to help.
Our contact with the family affords us the privilege of letting the family know that the mission continues to bring their loved one home, informing them that a family DNA sample is necessary for the identification of their loved one’s remains, and putting them in contact with the appropriate Service Casualty Office.
|SERVICE CASUALTY OFFICES
|U. S. Army
|U. S. Air Force
|U. S. Marine Corps
|U. S. Navy
The SCO’s contact with the family allows them the opportunity to answer questions which the family may have regarding their loved one’s status and circumstances, update the contact information of next-of-kin for their loved one (facilitating future communication), provide information about upcoming Family Update events in their area, and coordinate sending out the necessary DNA kit. The DNA collection is a simple process which requires no travel and is of no cost to the family!
Each DNA kit consists of three (3) cheek swabs and very thorough instructions. Also included is a pre-paid, pre-addressed envelope to be used by the family in order to send the completed kit to Armed Forces DNA Identification Laboratory (AFDIL) located at Dover Air Force Base, Delaware. The AFDIL will analyze the family’s DNA submission for comparison against the remains that have already been recovered from the battle site and are currently being kept at Joint Base Pearl Harbor–Hickam in Hawaii. The Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) is the primary agency responsible for the recovery and repatriation of our unaccounted-for heroes; however, there are private non-profit charity groups (such as History Flight and BentProp) who are also out at the battle site actively working to bring our boys home.
To determine who qualifies to submit a DNA sample, please review the AFDIL Family Tree. Please keep in mind that while Y-DNA can be helpful in the identification process, mitochondrial DNA (or mtDNA) is actually ideal for these purposes. Some SCOs will look for both. If you are not eligible to be a DNA donor but own an object that may contain DNA belonging to the service member (or someone who is DNA-eligible), contact the SCO and review the Alternate DNA Objects.
If a match is not found, the DNA sample will be kept on hand for comparison against any remains that are recovered during future missions. In some cases, one family’s DNA donation could help (through exclusion) in the identification of non-related service members who were perhaps adopted, or have no surviving family members eligible to donate DNA for them. If you donate a sample of your DNA, it will only be used for the purpose of assisting with the identification of the remains of our unaccounted-for heroes, and will not be used for any other purpose or be released to other government agencies or any other organization without the written permission of the donor.
If a DNA match is found, the DNA will be provided to the DPAA for processing the remains. The DPAA will notify the Armed Forces Identification Review Board (AFIRB) to validate the remains identification. The AFIRB consists of one member from the Army, Navy or Marine Corps and Air Force. If a positive identification is made, the AFIRB will notify the service member’s SCO of the identification. The SCO will then notify the service member's family of the identification and make arrangements for disposition of the remains in accordance with the family's wishes.
Please direct all questions regarding the FRS Program to
Jennifer Morrison (812.229.0101, Jennifer.S.Morrison@gmail.com)