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College students studying family history help find relatives of US Army soldiers. UU From MIA

BYU family history students help the US Army. UU To find relatives of Soldiers of MIA. (Photo: KUTV)

PROVO, Utah (KUTV) – The Army of the United States has asked some Brigham Young University students who specialize in family history to help the army find relatives of soldiers who disappeared in action.

"It is extremely satisfying to see how genealogy and family history help to heal people's lives," said Melanie Torres, one of the student researchers. "Just to know that I'm part of something that is a little bigger than me."

Brigham Young University is the only university in the country with a bachelor's degree program in family history. The US Army UU And the POW / MIA Defense Accountancy Agency saw it and asked the University's Family History Department to help identify some of the 82,000 missing soldiers in action since World War II.

Students find surviving relatives so that the military can get DNA results to confirm identities.

"Our hope is to be able to return them to their homes and return them to their families," said Jill Grandell, a professor who oversees the project. "Time is running because many of our WWII veterans and their families are dying."

But even with all the new and improved forms of high-tech genealogical research, the task is still not easy. BYU received 65 cases and finished 48. Each case takes an average of two months to complete.

"I've done something like 150 hours of work on this project, and really just completed two cases," Torres said.

It may be slow, but the work is very rewarding, the students said.

"I feel patriotic and I love being involved in something like this where these soldiers have given the ultimate sacrifice," said Kimberly Brown, research student .

More information about the project can be found on the BYU website.

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