05.31.16

AS WE CELEBRATE MEMORIAL DAY, SCHUMER MEETS WITH USS FRANK E. EVANS FAMILY MEMBERS AT THEIR CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY HOME; SCHUMER HAS LED THE CHARGE TO ADD WESTERN NEW YORKER TERRY LEE HENDERSON TO THE VIETNAM WALL

Schumer Meets With Terry Lee Henderson’s Mother & Brother at Their Home & Provides Update On Campaign To Add Names To Wall

Schumer: Terry Lee Henderson & 73 Other Sailors Paid The Ultimate Sacrifice For America & Deserve To Be Honored On The Vietnam Memorial Wall

Schumer: In Honor Of Memorial Day, It’s Time To Etch 74 Names On The Vietnam Wall

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer, for the first time, met with Terry Lee Henderson’s mother and brother today at their Jamestown home. Schumer provided updates on his effort to enshrine the names of 74 Americans on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, DC. Schumer also heard first-hand from the Henderson family on how their loved one bravely served his country during the Vietnam War and died tragically in a war-related training exercise in the South China Sea.  

“As we pause this weekend to recognize our men and women in uniform who made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the freedoms we hold dear. The Henderson family still has a hole in their heart knowing that their loved one has yet to receive the proper recognition for his bravery and courage when he died in service to this country,” said Schumer. “That is why I am pursuing all possible avenues – including legislation – in our effort to have the names of these 74 veterans, including Terry Lee Henderson of Western New York, enshrined on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. By withholding these names from the wall, we are continuing to deny individuals who perished while valiantly served our nation the tribute they deserve.”

Schumer explained that he recently introduced an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would require the Department of Defense (DOD) to enshrine the names of 74 Americans on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in our nation’s capital. Schumer did this as a part of his continuing effort to ensure the names of Terry and his fellow Sailors are engraved alongside the other veterans who served valiantly and perished during the Vietnam War. In February, Schumer elevated his call to Secretary Carter on the administrative level, citing that the top DOD official could be the one to make the final decision. Schumer first launched his effort in June 2015 when he called on Secretary Mabus of the U.S. Navy to give the deceased crewmembers of the USS Frank E. Evans the proper recognition for their brave and noble service. Schumer said he would pursue all avenues possible – including legislative and administrative – to see that these Sailors receive their rightful honor on the wall.

On June 3, 1969, the USS Frank E. Evans collided with an Australian aircraft carrier during a joint naval exercise in the South China Sea. Seventy-four American Sailors were killed in the accident. However, because the tragedy took place outside of the official Vietnamese combat zone, the crew was deemed ineligible for inclusion on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Schumer said that these geographical lines should not be a barrier to recognition when it comes to service. Schumer said those aboard the USS Frank E. Evans were essential to the American military efforts in Vietnam, and their presence in the South China Sea was directly linked to the war. Therefore, Schumer is pushing to have the names of these crewmembers, including Henderson, properly enshrined on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial to honor their memory, bravery, and sacrifice.

Schumer said he is supporting the ongoing efforts of Western New York residents Maryann (Henderson) Buettner and Randy Henderson, Terry Lee Henderson’s mother and brother, to have Terry’s name included in the national memorial, along with his fellow crewmen. Terry Lee Henderson, along with the 73 other crewmembers, tragically lost their lives while helping to advance American military efforts in Vietnam. Schumer said their combat-related service deserves acknowledgment upon the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. In June 2015 he urged Navy Secretary Mabus to give full consideration to this request, which was met with a favorable reply.

Schumer said there were four additional crewmembers from NY who perished in the accident as well, and whose actions also merit inclusion on the memorial. They include: James Franklin Bradly, born in New York, NY; Dennis Ralph Johnston, born in Tarrytown, NY; John Townsend Norton, born in Brooklyn, NY; and Larry Reilly Jr., whose father, Larry Reilly Sr. is a Syracuse, NY resident and a survivor of the USS Frank E. Evans collision.

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