Sacramento – The names of three California Veterans who died as a result of their service in the Vietnam War were added to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Capitol Park today.
"The men we honor today did not die in the theater of war. Instead, they each carried the burden of their battlefield experience back home, sometimes suffering for decades, before their military service took them," said Dr. Vito Imbasciani, Secretary, California Department of Veterans Affairs (CalVet). "The sacrifice of our fallen service members is deserving of recognition."
The California Vietnam Veterans Memorial Honor Committee reviews nominations of men and women who died due to their Vietnam War service for addition to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial. On October 19, 2016, the committee voted to add the following individuals to the Memorial:
Private First Class Richard Carmine Borrelli of Sierra Madre, who served in the U.S. Army and died as a result of his exposure to Agent Orange in Vietnam.
Ensign Jan Byron Jones of Ione, who served in the U.S. Navy and took his life in 1973 as direct result of the post-traumatic stress disorder he experienced due to his service in Vietnam.
Captain Brien Thomas (B.T.) Collins of Sacramento, who served in the U.S. Army and died as a result of his service in Vietnam, where he also lost an arm and a leg in combat. He was a life-long advocate for Veterans and served in the California State Legislature.
The committee was created by Assembly Bill 287, authored by Assemblymember Jim Frazier, Jr., in 2013 to ensure Vietnam Veterans who were not included on the original memorial, but who have died as a direct result of injuries or illness suffered during the conflict, are added to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Any California Veteran who died as a result of illness or injuries, including physical or mental injuries documented by the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs, or licensed medical professionals, that can reasonably be assumed to have resulted from military service in the Vietnam War, is considered.
The memorial bearing the three additional engraved names was unveiled at a ceremony in Sacramento's Capitol Park during "The Reading of the Names," a day-long annual event during which volunteers read aloud all 5,659 names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The event was hosted by Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 500 in Sacramento.
For more information about the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial Honor Committee, or to nominate a deceased Vietnam Veteran for addition to the California Vietnam Veterans Memorial, please visit https://www.calvet.ca.gov/Pages/Vietnam-Veterans-Memorial-Honor-Committee.aspx.
Follow CalVet on Facebook and Twitter