EL PASO, Texas — The Navy has identified a 39-year-old communications electrician from El Paso as among the nine sailors still missing from the crew of the USS John S. McCain after it collided with a Liberian-flagged merchant vessel near Singapore.
Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez was an alumnus of El Paso’s Irvin High School who enlisted in the Navy in 1997. The Navy says Lopez had been stationed in Japan, Spain, Pearl Harbor, San Diego and the Great Lakes before he joined the McCain crew in November 2014.
He was an enlisted surface warfare specialist with a Navy Marine Corps Commendation Medal and the Navy Marine Corps Achievement Medal to his credit.
In a statement, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said Lopez and Electronics Technician 3rd Class John H. Hoagland III, also from Texas, “represent the best Texas has to offer,” and he extended condolences to his family.
Democratic U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke of El Paso also extended condolences to the Lopez family. Regarding the collision, the House Armed Services Committee member told the El Paso Times that “there has to be accountability for this and make sure this doesn’t happen again.”
Information from: El Paso Times, http://www.elpasotimes.com