Statewide group bands together to lay unclaimed veteran remains - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Statewide group bands together to lay unclaimed veteran remains to rest

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PASCO, WA - If you've never heard of the 'Missing In America Project' (MIAP), it's an organization who takes unclaimed remains of veterans.

Today, three groups across Washington set off on a road trip to take these vets to a final resting place.

Reporter Karly Tinsley learned that today's event was all about honoring the veterans who have served our country, and because a lot of remains go unclaimed, MIAP wants to give the forgotten vets a final place to rest with the dignity and honor they deserve.

Today, veterans across the state were brought together for one cause.

"We're bringing unclaimed remains of veterans that an organization MIA, Missing In America organization has found, identified, and collected," said Greg Wallace, Patriot Guard's assistant state captain.

This morning, groups took off from Kent, Yakima, and Pasco to give the honorary transfer to the veterans' cemetery in Medical Lake. Together, the three groups transported remains of 35 vets and have assisted in hundreds more.

"With this movement here, we're just under 400 vets that we have processed through, identified as veterans, and been able to give them final honors," Wallace said.

Wallace says this process begins by going into funeral homes and asking for any unclaimed remains. About 1 in 20 end up being vets. From there, they try to find family.

"Once they take the vets they continue to look for family, and out of the 35 today, 2 of them were able to find family and release the remains to family members."

For the last two years, Thunder Alley Motorsports in Pasco has sponsored and worked with MIAP to put on this event. Manager Ben Dosch says it's an honor to be involved with this event.

"They've signed away their life and defended this country, so the men and women deserve that respect and that honor," Dosch said.

Earlier, the three groups met up in Ritzville, and from there traveled as a group all the way to Medical Lake, where they gave the vets a final place to rest.