Sailors who died in a training exercise in the South China Sea, including a man from Western New York, should have their names engraved on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Sen. Charles E. Schumer said.
Schumer called on Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter to have the names of the 74 men engraved on the wall. They include Terry Lee Henderson, who Schumer said was born in Buffalo and whose family lives in Chautauqua County.
“For more than four decades, surviving crew members and relatives of those lost on the USS Frank E. Evans have struggled to understand why geographical lines have superseded these sailors’ sacrifice and service,” Schumer said in a news release.
The USS Frank E. Evans collided with an Australian aircraft carrier during a joint naval exercise in 1969, but because it occurred outside the official Vietnamese combat zone, the crew was deemed ineligible for inclusion on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Schumer said the geographic lines should not be a barrier when it comes to recognition for service, and is supporting the ongoing efforts of Henderson’s mother and brother, Maryann Buettner and Randy Henderson, to have his name included with the other 73 crew members who lost their lives.