Fifteen years ago today, Al-Qaeda sailed a pair of suicide bombers up to the port side of the destroyer USS Cole and detonated hundreds of pounds of explosives, tearing a gaping hole in the hull and nearly crippling the vessel. 17 sailors were killed and 39 injured, making it the most deadly attack on a US Navy ship since 1987.
With the anniversary of the deadly attack upon us, Navy Times has spoken to a number of sailors that served upon the Cole, asking how the attack changed the course of their career, and how it felt during and immediately after the bombing. For some sailors, that meant they took their duties, especially those about protecting their ship in port, much more seriously.
Others, though, spoke about suffering post-traumatic stress disorder, a phrase that hadn't so heavily infiltrated the American lexicon and wasn't as completely understood as it is today. The crew was also subjected to some remarkably difficult and depressing conditions immediately following the bombing, which didn't make recovery any easier.
You can read about the crew's trials and tribulations following the bombing over at the Navy Times website. It really is worth a look.