To have lost a loved one, a brother, daughter, father or son during a war is a tragedy. How can we really understand the pain? But to receive a report that they are Missing in Action (MIA) is equally, if not more, heart-wrenching. The agonizing thoughts of what might have happened never go away no matter how many years have passed. It affects many, not only the immediate family but also aunts and uncles, cousins and friends. With unending hope, they imagine that their loved one had survived and resumed a life somewhere else. Their hope never diminishes, and the pain never goes away, even with the passing of time. Mark Reichman and his family have discovered 15 crashed airplane sites in the jungles of Papua New Guinea. Many of them possibly have human remains in the area. He worked with the Australian Air Force in the remains recovery of the crew a bomber that had been missing for 66 years. In his book MIA: That The Lost May Be Found he writes about a sense of the euphoria after having found a lost military airplane with its crew, and the humbling experience after hearing from the grateful families. For those who are still wondering where your loved ones are, they must never give up hope because there is an enormous amount of effort, both by governments and amateur historians who are dedicated to finding MIAs in order that the lost may be FOUND.
Mark J. Reichman was born in Joliet, Illinois. He served four years in the US Navy from 1973 – 1977 as an Aviation Mechanic working on jet engines for the EA6B Prowler. He received his B.A. in intercultural ministries with New Tribes Mission. In 1986, along with his wife Joan, and five-month-old baby, Micah, he moved to Papua New Guinea. During their 23 years of service in Papua New Guinea, his family grew to four children, and for family outings, they would trek the jungles and scuba dive the seas in search of WWII relics. With PNG locals as their guides, they have discovered eight Japanese dive bombers, discovered a U.S. P-38 and a U.S. B-17. They have dived on two sunken Japanese Merchant ships and scoured the Arawe battlefield with its remnants of U.S. tanks, bombs and caves full of dumped rations. After visiting one Australian Beaufort and three Lockheed Hudson crash sites, they discovered a fourth Hudson with its four-man crew. Mark is also a lecturer.
Philippians 1:21 “For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”