Department of Defense works to grant closure to families of soldiers MIA

Posted at 5:37 PM, Jul 13, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY – Losing a loved one in war is tough, but some families said it can be even more difficult when they don’t know what happened to their loved ones or where they are.

Representatives from the Department of Defense were in Salt Lake City Saturday to bring families up to date on the search for loved ones missing in action.

Carolyn De Las Casas was one person in attendance, and she said she was there regarding her uncle: Pfc. Frank Keith Hoesch.

“This is the man I will always remember, caring, loving, always genuine,” she said.

Hoesch is one of more than 80,000 American armed services members who are still unaccounted for since World War II.

Sgt. 1st Class Shelia Sledge, DOD spokeswoman, said they hold events like this on behalf of those still waiting to hear what happened to their loved ones.

“We want to bring awareness to, ‘Hey, there are still people out looking,’” she said.

Military officials said they are scouring records, analyzing DNA and otherwise working to find answers for those still waiting.

Carlos Jimenez was one family member at Saturday’s event.

It's important that we as a family know what happened to him, and other family members of ours, who have fought in these wars, that we still don't have information on,” he said.

De Las Casas said they would like to see Hoesch brought home for his final rest.

“We have more hope again that this, maybe someday, he can be found and brought back home and placed next to my grandmother's grave,” she said. “That's what we want.”

DOD officials said they have already identified 30 missing soldiers this year, nearly all of whom served in WWII, Korea or Vietnam.