VIDEO RELEASE: As Memorial Day Approaches, Shaheen Calls on Department of Defense to Add Lost Navy Sailors to Vietnam Memorial

May 14, 2020

CJS on senate floor may

Senator Shaheen calls for the immediate passage of legislation honoring the sailors of the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans

(Washington, DC) – Today on the Senate floor, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and U.S. Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) called for immediate passage of legislation to require the names of the 74 sailors lost aboard the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans to be added to the Vietnam War Wall Memorial in Washington. The U.S.S. Frank E. Evans sank outside of the designated Vietnam conflict zone on June 3, 1969. Among the “Lost 74” were Granite Staters Ronald Arthur Thibodeau of Manchester and Gary Joseph Vigue of Dover.

Shaheen’s remarks can be viewed here.

During her remarks, Shaheen noted that the New Hampshire sailors who paid the ultimate sacrifice in service to their country deserved to be rightfully honored, “We have two sailors from New Hampshire who were lost that day... These two men, Gary and Ronald, gave their lives for this country… Just because they were outside some artificially designated combat zone, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be recognized in the same way that the others who were lost in Vietnam have been recognized.

Shaheen continued, “Madam President, this is May… and Memorial Day is approaching – a day during which our nation honors the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. As we recognize the sacrifices of our fellow Americans, I think it’s appropriate that the Senate take up and pass the U.S.S Frank E. Evans Act, legislation that I’m really honored to cosponsor with my colleague Senator Cramer from North Dakota, because it’s legislation that will ensure the seventy-four men – those “Lost 74” – are rightfully honored by adding their names to the Vietnam War Wall Memorial.”

Senators Shaheen and Hassan are cosponsors of the U.S.S. Frank E. Evans Act, which was introduced by Senator Cramer. Senator Shaheen has previously called on Senate and House Armed Services Committee leaders to include the bill in the National Defense Authorization Act. In February, Shaheen requested a meeting with the Secretary of Defense to discuss adding the sailors to the Vietnam Memorial.