Memorial service held for fallen Connecticut sailor

OAKVILLE --  He didn't live in Watertown long, but the community says a fallen Navy sailor will never be forgotten.

Roughly 100 people attended a memorial Thursday afternoon, at the Oakville Town Green, for Naval Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc T. Truong Huynh, 25, who was among the seven sailors killed June 18, when a Japanese cargo ship crashed into the USS Fitzgerald, a Navy destroyer, off the east coast of Japan.

Tan Huynh died two days after his 25th birthday in an accident hits close to home for another local Navy veteran, who was stationed at the same Japanese base in Cusco, Japan.

"I know the waterways well," said  Tom DeMatteis, from Oakville, who helped organize the memorial.

"And, being from Oakville, not to mention there's already a brotherhood."

Among those attending the memorial, a couple of moms, whose sons have just graduated from Navy boot camp.

"We are all one big family, one big navy family," said Mary Beth Nardella of Oakville.

"I know that if it was my son, I would want the support of everyone and I wanted to be here representing other navy moms," said Desiree Brooks of Beacon Falls.

Among the schools Huynh, the native of Vietnam, attended here in Connecticut was Watertown High School.

"On behalf of all of us in Watertown, I think you Tan for living out your dream and for the pride that your success brought us here at in Watertown Oakville," said Dr. B. Heston Carnemolla, the Watertown Supt. Of  Schools

Just how a technological wonder like the USS Fitzgerald could not have seen that Japanese ship coming has people scratching their heads.

"We are going to allow Tan to be laid to rest and then questions to need to be answered," DaMatteis. "There was a serious break down."

At the same time this memorial service was taking place, Tan Huynh's family was holding his funeral service in Oklahoma, which is where his family moved to after he joined the Navy.