Through fragments of long-lost lives, lab aims to give military families a measure of peace

HONOLULU — A Christmas card arrives every December in Bill Belcher’s mailbox, sent by the daughter of a 1940s fighter pilot he unearthed in the mountains of Papua New Guinea.
The excavation was 20 years ago. But like the resolve of other military families awaiting the discovery of some trace of a loved one, the woman’s gratitude for her father’s repatriated remains hasn’t diminished with time.