Military historian to speak at museum

TROY — Fort Pickawillany Society Children of the American Revolution will be serving breakfast for veterans from 9-11 a.m. Aug. 3 at the Miami Valley Veterans Museum, Troy.

The guest speaker will be Alejandro “Alex” Villalva, speaking on “Until They Are Home: Using Forensic Science to Account for our MIA Military Personnel.”

A native of Austin, Texas, Villalva is a longtime and highly experienced military historian, specializing in the study of the Vietnam War. Focused study of this conflict began as a teen in the early 1980s, and eventually led to his current work as a forensic military equipment analyst and historian, spanning 20 years. His specialized historian, forensic and technical skills are assets to his DoD POW/MIA Accounting Agency Laboratory at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, which is tasked to analyze recovered material evidence forms from global loss sites, in which to support the national mission to find, recover, and identify U.S. military personnel unaccounted for/MIA from past conflicts.

As a historian and author, Villalva has written published articles on U.S. military equipment used in Vietnam, and he is currently writing a major book project on the USAF in Vietnam.

Villalva is also a 25-year U.S. Army NCO veteran, and has spent the majority of his distinguished career as a military trainer and instructor, having served as a drill sergeant (at basic training centers) and as a drill sergeant leader (at the Drill Sergeant School). Still serving as a senior NCO in the Army Reserve, he currently is a university adjunct faculty instructor at the University of Dayton’s Army ROTC department.

He will discuss his unique forensic work in the POW/MIA field, where his laboratory of the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency (DPAA) forensically analyzes recovered material evidence in an attempt to account for US personnel who went missing in action in past conflicts.