UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project Launches Annual Fundraising Concert Series
Local bands and artists from the Veteran community from across the country will take to the virtual stage Sunday, March 27 at 2 p.m. for the inaugural COMING HOME: A Concert for Our Missing Heroes.
Benefit organizer Jeff Leibow, formerly of the Broadway hit musical “JERSEY BOYS,” brings together a collection of artists including Six Mile Grove, veteran Theresa Bowman (known in the music industry as Filitaliana) and more to benefit the UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project (UW MIA Project), a project dedicated to bringing home America’s missing heroes from conflicts overseas dating back to World War II.
The concert will be streamed on the UW MIA Project’s website https://mia.biotech.wisc.edu/cominghome/. While there is no charge for access, there is a suggested donation of $25 per household.
The UW MIA Project works to recover, identify, and repatriate the approximately 82,000 MIA U.S. service members (which includes more than 1,500 MIA from Wisconsin) by conducting annual field excavations and year-round research assistance to families of missing service members. The Project consists of an interdisciplinary team of academic experts and student volunteers in the fields of history, archaeology, forensic anthropology, and biology, collaborating to make these missions a success. The project was the first academic institution to partner with the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA). The DPAA is an organization in the Department of Defense that is responsible for identifying and repatriating the remains of MIA U.S. service members.
“These service members made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. To return them home to their families after what may be more than 70 years, and to see the families get the closure they have been searching for makes this project incredibly rewarding,” says Charles Konsitzke, Associate Director the UW-Madison Biotechnology Center and Team Lead for the UW MIA Project.
The process of research and recovery can often take two years and can cost more than $250,000 per case. While the Project receives administrative support from the University of Wisconsin, the cost of these cases requires additional financial backing.
The UW MIA Project is currently working on more than a dozen active cases. Previously, the project has been honored to see cases to completion. These success stories include:
· Private First Class Lawrence S. Gordon, a Canadian enlisted in the United States Army and was killed in action on August 13th, 1944, in the Normandy region of northern France
· First Lieutenant Frank Fazekas, a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot who was shot down and killed in action on May 22nd, 1944, over the village of Buysscheure in northern France
· Second Lieutenant Walter B. Stone, a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter pilot who was shot down and killed in action on October 22nd, 1943, near Quercamps, northern France
About the UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project:
The UW MIA Recovery and Identification Project honors the sacrifice of brave Americans who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms. The primary mission is to recover missing U.S. military personnel from past global conflicts. Additionally, the Project educates students and communities on the importance of past national service and helps bring closure to the families of the missing. The UW MIA Project works to recover, identify, and repatriate MIA U.S. service members by conducting annual field excavations and year-round research assistance to families of missing service members. To learn more about the Project or to inquire about how you can support the recovery of this country’s missing heroes, contact the team at MIA@biotech.wisc.edu or by calling (608) 890-4889.