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Twenty years after the biopic “Good Morning, Vietnam” turned him into a star on the college lecture circuit, Adrian Cronauer, L’89 spends his days far from the glitter of Hollywood. In an anonymous building near the Pentagon, Cronauer works on rescue missions. Not the kind which end with hometown parades, marching bands, welcome home banners, or teary reunions. For him, success means a body lost in time returns to the earth at Arlington National Cemetery.

As a special assistant in the U.S. Department of Defense, Cronauer burns thousands of miles in his job, helping to put a period on one of the most portentous sentences in the English language: “We regret to inform you…” In town after town, he and his colleagues brief families about efforts to locate the remains of soldiers missing in action or taken prisoners of war. Often it’s been years since relatives have heard anything about their loved ones.

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