Dental Squadron Helps ID Victims - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

TEAM MEMBERS HELP BRING FAMILIES CLOSURE

Dental Squadron Helps ID Victims

Since the terrorist attacks are being investigated as a crime, members of Keesler's 81st Dental Squadron can't discuss the specifics of their duties. But the team leader describes their job as mass casualty recovery with the goal of giving answers to the victims' families.

"We work with the remains, and we work with the dental portions to piece the identities together so that the family and legal system can identify the individual and close the issue and move on," team leader J.P.Fancher said.

Working 10 to 12 hour shifts took lots of intense concentration, and these doctors and technicians say sometimes the work was stressful. But being at a base hundreds of miles away from the recovery site at the Pentagon made it easier emotionally.

"From our perspective, because we were separated from the actual scene of the accident, we could view what we were doing in a positive way rather than something that would tear us apart mentally," team member Julie Collins said.

Being together as friends and co-workers helped get them through tough times.

"Just knowing you're in a group, even a group, when I say we were in a group it was good for us but even the group that was there was very good, people we met in other armed services up there," Philip Junghans said.

"As the days went on, it got easier," Andrea Myrick said. "You saw it as a job, you had to do it, you had to get it done so people could have closure."

By Marcia Hill

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