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Navy Releases Names of Its Missing Pentagon Personnel

By Sgt. 1st Class Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13, 2001 – The Navy this afternoon released the names of its 33 sailors and nine civilian employees who are still missing in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon two days ago.

DoD officials said they expect the Army to release a list of its missing personnel Friday. The Navy list is posted on the Web at www.defenselink.mil/releases/2001/b09132001_bt423-01.html.

"These 42 people were serving their nation when they were attacked," said Adm. Vern Clark, chief of naval operations, at a Pentagon briefing. "Service is what our profession is about. These men and women committed their lives to a life of consequence and a life of service."

The admiral called the military and civilian members "the sons and daughters, moms and dads, aunts and uncles of our nation." "And I want the whole world to know," he continued, "that this naval officer is mighty proud to serve with people who are committed to such a lifestyle."

Casualty assistance officers have been assigned to each family to act as a conduit between the military and the families, Clark explained.

Clark said he's received messages of support for the Department from many fronts, including e-mails from retired sailors. "They said, 'Admiral, give me a job; I'm ready to come back,'" he said.

When asked by a reporter if he'd classify these as "combat casualties", Navy Secretary Gordon R. England replied terrorism turns the whole world into a combat zone. "New York was a combat zone, the Pentagon was a combat zone," he said.

Clark added that the Navy family was touched in a broader way than just losing people who were working in the Pentagon. He said Navy family members were among those on the hijacked planes, but didn't give specific numbers.

"For example, one of our petty officers' 11-year-old child was on the plane (that crashed into the Pentagon)," Clark said. "They're our Navy family."

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