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Veteran Hopes He Can Erase a Monumental Mistake

November 11, 1987|Shirley Marlow

--His name is among those of 58,132 U.S. soldiers etched in the black granite of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. But Darrall Lausch wants his name off that list. "I think it should be removed, seeing as I'm still living," Lausch said. Lausch, 41, of Baroda, Mich., has been listed on the memorial to soldiers killed or missing in action during the Vietnam War since it was built in 1982. But he didn't find out about his presumed death until he recently saw a magazine article that listed his name with nearly 2,600 Michigan dead. Lausch was wounded twice in Vietnam but was discharged about one year after the Pentagon said he was killed in action on Nov. 19, 1966. The National Park Service said the names of two other men, both from Virginia and both alive, also have been mistakenly placed on the memorial. There also have been misspellings. "They haven't found a way to remove it (Lausch's name) from the granite," said Liz Tate, who processes memorial names for the department of the U.S. Army. "They would be taking a chance of messing up the names beside it." The mistake is an ironic reminder of a conviction Lausch held during his year of combat. "I always knew I'd make it back alive," he said.

--Even though sailors are expected to feel at home on the water, they don't want to be all wet. Accordingly, the Navy will now allow male sailors to carry an umbrella if it is "plain, solid black, without ornamentation" and "will be carried in the left hand to permit saluting." Moreover, when it gets cold, the men and women of the Navy now are authorized to put on earmuffs, but only Navy blue ones, and only while wearing an overcoat. Adm. Carlisle A. H. Trost, the chief of naval operations, resolved almost two decades of debate when he decided to allow male sailors and officers to carry an umbrella when it rains or snows. The Navy joins the Air Force in allowing its men to carry an umbrella, although all four services have allowed women to do so while in uniform since 1972. Trost's decision does not affect the Marine Corps, a branch of the Navy.

--Speaking of sailors, Britain's Prince Andrew, second son of Queen Elizabeth, will take an assignment aboard the destroyer Edinburgh early next year, the Defense Ministry said. The announcement ended press speculation that Andrew would quit the navy after his marriage last year to Sarah Ferguson. The ministry said that Andrew, who saw combat as a helicopter pilot in Britain's 1982 Falklands War against Argentina, will join the Edinburgh in May.

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