No. 013-99  
IMMEDIATE RELEASE                              June 18, 1999                       (202) 628-2700 Ext. 158 


Vietnam Veterans of America National President George C. Duggins lauded Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen's June 17 decision to approve recommendations to seal the tomb reserved for the Vietnam unknown at Arlington National Cemetery. 

"The Secretary's decision was logical and appropriate based upon current DNA testing procedures, Duggins said.  "Advances made in DNA identification have proven, so far, that internment of unkowns to be obsolete.  Even though it is possible that some remains may not be identifiable by DNA tests, current methods have been totally successful to date." 

"The recovery of remains by the U.S. government's Joint Field Activity in Vietnam and the Joint Task Force-Full Accounting offices have resulted in the successful repatriation of remains lost in that war.  As a result of their work, families have been provided the opportunity to have missing loved ones buried with the proper honors they deserve," Duggins said. 

Duggins further stated, "We have reached a plateau in science and technology where it is gratifying to know we may never again have an unknown soldier, Sailor, Marine, airman or Coast Guardsman unaccounted for while serving our country." 

 - END - 

VVA's point of contact for additional information is Scott D. Campbell at (202) 628- 2700 Ext.158. 

Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is 
"Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another." 

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