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Plaque for fallen sailor relocated at Farmingville amphitheater

Terance Weldon was one of 37 sailors killed

Terance Weldon was one of 37 sailors killed on the USS Stark on May 17, 1987, by a pair of missiles shot by an Iraqi fighter jet during the Iran-Iraq war. Credit: File photo

Thirty years after Navy sailor Terance Weldon of Selden was killed in the bombing of the USS Stark, a plaque honoring him has a new home.

The plaque, dedicated about 27 years ago at the Pennysaver Amphitheater in Farmingville, has been moved to a different location amid a stand of flagpoles at the outdoor concert venue on Bald Hill.

Its former home was an overgrown patch of grass and weeds that was out of view of concertgoers.

The sailor’s older brother, Sean Weldon, 52, of Sayville, said the plaque now stands in a place of honor.

“When they sing that national anthem at the concerts, they’ll be facing the [place] where my brother’s plaque is,” Weldon said.

A ceremony to rededicate the small monument will be held at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, before a concert by country singer Jake Owen.

Terance Weldon enlisted in the Navy shortly after graduating from Newfield High School. He was 20 years old and newly married when, on May 17, 1987, he was one of 37 sailors killed by a pair of missiles shot by an Iraqi fighter jet during the Iran-Iraq war.

“It was very sad; something that you wouldn’t want anyone to ever experience,” Weldon said.

The plaque was installed at the amphitheater in 1990, Weldon said, adding that at some point it was moved — and largely forgotten.

“It was very disgraceful. No one took care of it,” he said.

The Weldon family cleaned up the spot themselves during visits to the marker on holidays such as Easter and Memorial Day, Weldon said. They removed weeds, cut grass and left wreaths at the site.

He credited members of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 400 in Farmingville with approaching JVC Broadcasting, the Ronkonkoma company that runs concerts at the amphitheater, which is owned by Brookhaven Town, and asking that the plaque be moved.

“We always felt like it should be in a different spot,” JVC president John Caracciolo said in an interview. “We put it out for everybody to see. It’s not in a parking lot anymore.”

Weldon said he was pleased with the new location. Family members, including his brother’s widow, Christine, plan to attend tomorrow’s ceremony, he said.

“Everybody loved Terry,” his brother said. “He had a very distinctive laugh that was very unusual, but it was funny. . . . He was a very well-liked guy. He wasn’t like a tough guy. He just liked to have a good time and he was very nice to everybody.”

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