GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) – Since World War II, more than 80,000 service members have been declared missing in action. For nearly 30 years, Project Recover has worked to find those missing Americans and fulfill the promise to bring back those who served.

For nearly a year, Project Recover has taken its film, “To What Remains,” across both the nation and the world to raise awareness about its work to bring closure to families whose loved ones made the ultimate sacrifice.

“To What Remains” will be screened Thursday at 7 p.m., in the Hendrix Theatre on ECU’s campus. Admission is free. To read more about Project Recover’s work and to see a trailer of the film, click here.

Derek Abbey is the President and CEO of Project Recover. He joined the project in 2004.

“When American citizens don the uniform of our nation and swear an oath to the Constitution, we, as a collective, make a promise to them that we’ll do anything that we can to return them to their families should they fall in battle,” Abbey said. “So, we’re doing what we can to keep that promise because it doesn’t have an expiration date.” 

Project Recover is a non-profit, a partnership dedicated to searching for, locating and repatriating missing Americans from previous conflicts. So far, Project Recover has located more than 200 Americans, with 15 resulting in repatriation and 70 declared buried at sea by the U.S. Navy. Currently, there are more than 100 open status cases, meaning that recovery is underway or will take place.

“The film is more than just showing stories of being in the waters or the jungles around the world searching for lost Americans. The story really focuses, and what we’re most proud of, it shows the impact this work has on these families that waited decades for these answers,” said Abbey. 

“To What Remains” is a documentary detailing the work of Project Recover. East Carolina University’s Maritime Studies program invited Abbey and the viewing of the film in hopes of showing students what opportunities are open for those in ECU’s diving programs. 

“’Project Recover’ is just one example of the ways in which the skills you can get here at ECU can be applied in real life,” said ECU Dive Safety Officer Ryan Bradley.