Possible US Soldier's Remains Sent Home
( Newsvine )) Remains believed to be of an American soldier killed in Cambodia decades ago during the Vietnam War were flown Monday to the United States for forensic analysis.
After a brief ceremony at Phnom Penh International Airport, a U.S. military transport plane left with the coffin holding the remains for a military laboratory in Hawaii, where tests to determine identification are to be conducted.
According to a statement from the U.S. Embassy, 55 Americans are still unaccounted for in Cambodia. More 1,750 U.S. service members in total are still listed as missing in action from the Vietnam War.
The embassy said that the remains were discovered last week in Sihanoukville , a port city in southwestern Cambodia, during a field operation by a team from the U.S. Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command.
Each year, more than 700 U.S. specialists take part in MIA searches in the region, conducting archival and field research.
"It's very important to have this sort of ceremony so that the families and the friends of whoever this turns out to be can have some closure," U.S. Ambassador Joseph Mussomeli told reporters Monday.