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    North Carolina native searches for America’s missing service members



    Story by Staff Sgt. Rusty Frank 

    Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency

    HONOLULU, HAWAII—U.S. Army Sgt. Michael Gibbs, a Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) recovery team communications noncommissioned officer, recently joined a recovery team in search of a missing U.S. service member lost during the Vietnam War in Lang Son Province, Vietnam.

    Gibbs, a father of six children and a Durham, North Carolina native, volunteered to help DPAA fulfill its mission to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation.

    “I really feel this mission is important because it provides closure to those who don’t know, or who are still looking for those people, who were lost back in the war,” Gibbs said. “I think this is a great thing, probably one of the best things I could ever do, and it is a great honor for me.”

    For more than two decades the U.S. has conducted joint field activities with the governments of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia to recover the remains of missing Americans. Throughout these countries, field teams continue to investigate crash and burial sites, as well as interview locals to gain additional knowledge and build relations. Recovery teams rely on those partnerships to help find those who are lost.

    Gibbs said one his fondest memories while on mission was helping build those partnerships between the local Vietnamese community and the recovery team.

    “One my most memorable moments would have to be walking around town taking pictures with the locals,” said Gibbs. “And getting to know different families, because they will just invite you into their home, they are really peaceful.”

    DPAA’s mission is to provide the fullest possible accounting for our missing personnel to their families and the nation. When American personnel remain unaccounted-for at the conclusion of hostilities, the DoD personnel accounting community becomes the responsible agent for identifying and accounting for the missing.

    News media looking for more information about DPAA or Sgt. Gibbs, visit, find us on social media at, or email Lt. Col. Ken Hoffman



    Date Taken: 12.17.2019
    Date Posted: 12.17.2019 21:13
    Story ID: 356109
    Location: LANG SON, VN 

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