A US Navy Sailor who grew up in in the Oakville section of Watertown was among seven service members killed last month off the coast of Japan when their Navy destroyer the USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship.
Sonar Technician 3rd Class Ngoc "Tan" Truong Huynh, 25, was laid to rest on Thursday, which was also when his former hometown honored him at a mermorial service.
"This is one of our kids. He's from our town," said Tom Dematteis, a U.S. Navy Veteran who is among those in Watertown who wanted to make sure the young sailor's life is remembered. "It is a brotherhood and a sisterhood," he said of the bond between those who serve.
Huynh was in eighth grade when his family moved to Connecticut. He later graduated from Watertown High School before attending Naugatuck Valley Community College. He enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 2014.
Huynh's family has since left Connecticut and moved to Oklahoma.
"We need to celebrate his life and honor his service and ultimately his sacrifice," said Dematteis.
Huynh only lived in Watertown for a few years, but his life and now his death have had an impact.
A memorial service was help Thursday, July 6 at 2 p.m. at the Oakville Green on Route 73 in the Oakville section of Watertown. A funeral service took place at the same time in Oklahoma, where his family now lives.
The local ceremony was spearheaded by the Watertown-Oakville Veterans' Council.
"It doesn't matter if you know them personally," said Mickey Corcoran of the Veterans' Council. "Being a veteran is like a family."