Hoeven offers legislation to honor 74 sailors killed in Vietnam War

By On June 07, 2018

Hoeven offers legislation to honor 74 sailors killed in Vietnam War

Hoeven offers legislation to honor 74 sailors killed in Vietnam War Richard Grant holds a jacket with an image of the destroyer USS Frank Evans on Thursday, April 19, 2018, in his north Fargo home. He served on the ship as it was sunk in a 1969 naval accident near Vietnam. He wants the 74 sailors who lost their lives added to the Vietnam Memorial Wall. Michael Vosburg / Forum News Service

WASHINGTONâ€"Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., has introduced legislation to honor sailors who died in the sinking of the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans during the Vietnam War. An amendment offered by Hoeven directs the U.S. secretary of defense to place the 74 names on the Vietnam Vete rans Memorial Wall.

Hoeven's action was prompted by a letter to the editor to The Forum written in April by Richard Grant, a Vietnam War veteran who was one of 199 survivors of the sinking of the Evans, nicknamed the "Gray Ghost," which was performing a friendly maneuver with an Australian aircraft carrier in 1969.

"We appreciate Vietnam veteran Richard Grant for sharing with us the story of his shipmates and advocating on behalf of his fellow service members who were killed aboard the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans," Hoeven said in a statement released on Thursday, June 7. "These 74 service members died serving our country during the Vietnam War and should be remembered and honored on the Vietnam veterans Wall."

The amendment is co-sponsored by Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D. Last year, the Pentagon rejected a petition to list the names on the memorial wall.

In his open letter to Hoeven and Heitkamp, Grant, a Fargo resident , wrote in part: "We would have been returning to the war zone if this tragic event had not happened. My fellow survivors and shipmates need your help to have the 'Lost 74' names added to Vietnam Memorial Wall before the remaining survivors are not alive to fight for their fallen shipmates."

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