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Sailor back from war killed in N.Y. crash

By Chris Plante
CNN Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A U.S. Navy sailor who had just returned to the United States from war duty in the Arabian Sea aboard the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise was killed in Monday's jetliner crash in New York, Navy officials said.

The enlisted sailor's identity had not yet been released pending the Navy's notification of members of his family, who live both in New York and the Dominican Republic, the officials said.

Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld only learned that the sailor had been on American Airlines flight 587 when asked about it at Tuesday's Pentagon briefing.

"Oh, my goodness that's just a shame," he said in subdued tones.

The sailor was headed to the Dominican Republic Monday to see his wife and children after visiting his parents in New York, officials said.

He was a veteran sailor with about 10 years in the Navy, officials said, and had spent seven months at sea, returning to Portsmouth, Virginia, on Saturday.

At a news conference Monday night, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton described meeting a young man of Dominican heritage whose brother had just gotten off of the Enterprise, and was on flight 587, heading home for vacation.

"I hope all New Yorkers -- indeed, all Americans -- will include these families in their prayers tonight," Clinton said.

New York Gov. George Pataki met the sailor's sister, who showed him a photograph of the young man.

"This is the type of tragedy that we're dealing with and it's just important that New Yorkers, the city, the state, all of us, the federal officials and American Airlines are and will continue to stand with these families throughout their times of need," Pataki said.



 
 
 
 



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