Memorial Day is here. And the families and survivors of the USS Frank E. Evans are one giant step closer to seeing the 74 names of their fallen loved ones and comrades on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Senator Chuck Schumer is gearing up to introduce an amendment to the defense spending bill of 2017 that would force the Department of Defense to add the 74 names to the the Wall. The DoD is now “investigating” the incident once again to see if the 74 qualify for the wall. As American Boys shows clearly, they belong on that wall. This is the closest the families and survivors have come. And we need your help. Senator Schumer needs cosponsors.
Please take time to remember why we have Memorial Day.
On June 3, 1969 74 Americans were killed in a tragedy off the coast of Vietnam on the USS Frank E. Evans. If you have been following this issue, you know that the 74 men’s names have long been left off the Vietnam Veterans Memorial for bureaucratic reasons; reasons I feel have no business in the honoring of our nation’s fallen.
This omission remains despite the fact that evidence shows that these men were killed in an operation linked to the Vietnam War and that had there been no Vietnam War, these men would have never been killed on that fateful day.
Please read American Boys: The True Story of the Lost 74 of the Vietnam War. You can contact the author Louise Esola at firstname.lastname@example.org. She has all the research and is readily available to help.
The Department of Defense and the United States Navy have been spinning a tale since 1969, stating the USS Frank E. Evans was not in the theater at the time of the war—a “combat zone” drawn only for tax purposes and never strategic. The Evans, meanwhile, was awarded a Vietnam Service Medal on the day she sank. Why has this not been considered? In other cases this has been evidence enough for inclusion on the Vietnam Wall. The criteria for the medal and inclusion on the memorial are virtually the same. There is other evidence that proves the names belong on the wall but I feel the medal ought to be enough as it has been in other scenarios.
To earn that unit citation a unit has to be supporting the war. The 74 men killed on the Evans earned their place on the Vietnam Wall. Otherwise, what were they doing there? The USS Frank E. Evans was on duty off the coast of Vietnam, armed with a full war allowance of ammunition. The US Navy agrees that the names belong on the Vietnam Wall. How long do the families have to wait?
Sen. Chuck Schumer recently announced he will be introducing an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for 2017 that would force the Department of Defense to reverse its flawed ruling and order that these names be added. I am asking that you offer your support as a cosponsor to this important amendment. Please contact Senator Schumer’s office.
I believe this is a bipartisan issue that needs to be addressed for the proper memorialization of men who died in an American war. This issue is not a budget concern, as the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is nonprofit organization, funded with private donations.