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In his varied career, the Pittsburgh native has been a lawyer, a news anchor, the voice of radio commercials, the subject of a movie and, oh yeah, an assistant to Mister Rogers before he became a children’s icon. However, for this Vietnam vet, nothing approaches the psychic satisfaction of helping military families make peace with their loss. “It’s probably one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done,” states Cronauer, a spokesman for the Defense Prisoner of War and Missing Personnel Office. “This means a lot to me because of what it means to people who are trying to fill that hole” in their lives.

About 88,000 veterans are listed as missing in action. The majority fought in World War II, although nearly 10,000 of them are still unaccounted for from the Korean War and Vietnam. Many of their remains are never found and identified. Understandable considering the ravages of time and the rough terrain in which some soldiers fell or crashed.

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