The morning of October 12, 2000 the USS Cole was docked in the harbor of Aden, Yemen for a fuel stop, noting out of the ordinary. But that morning at around 11:18 local time a small craft approached the port side of the destroyer ship carrying explosive with one purpose, destroy the Cole by suicide bombers! An explosion created a 40 X 40 foot gash in the port side of the Cole killing 17 Sailors and injuring 39 more.
Now the guardsmen at the post that morning saw this craft approaching with the explosives but could do nothing about it due to the standing "Rules Of Engagement" set by the Pentagon, they had to get the captains permission first. The guards could either have fired on the craft and been quart marshaled or let 17 of their fellow sailors die. All in all, they did what they were supposed to do; follow orders.
In November 2002, the CIA killed Abu Ali al-Harithi, a planner of the bombing plot and on September 29, 2004 a Yemeni judge sentenced Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri and Jamal al-Badawi to death for their roles in the bombing. Justice has been served.
So today, as a memorial, I would like to post the names of the brave men and women who lost their lives serving their country.
- Hull Maintenance Technician 2nd Class Kenneth Eugene Clodfelter, 21, of Mechanicsville, Virginia.
- Electronics Technician Chief Petty Officer Richard Costelow, 35, of Morrisville, Pennsylvania.
- Mess Management Specialist Seaman Lakeina Monique Francis, 19, of Woodleaf, North Carolina
- Information Systems Technician Seaman Timothy Lee Gauna, 21, of Rice, Texas
- Signalman Seaman Cherone Louis Gunn, 22, of Rex, Georgia
- Seaman James Rodrick McDaniels, 19, of Norfolk, Virginia
- Engineman 2nd Class Marc Ian Nieto, 24, of Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
- Electronics Warfare Technician 2nd Class Ronald Scott Owens, 24, of Vero Beach, Florida
- Seaman Lakiba Nicole Palmer, 22, of San Diego, California
- Engineman Fireman Joshua Langdon Parlett, 19, of Churchville, Maryland
- Fireman Patrick Howard Roy, 19, of Cornwall on Hudson, New York
- Electronics Warfare Technician 1st Class Kevin Shawn Rux, 30, of Portland, North Dakota
- Mess Management Specialist 3rd Class Ronchester Manangan Santiago, 22, Kingsville, Texas
- Operations Specialist 2nd Class Timothy Lamont Saunders, 32, of Ringgold, Virginia
- Fireman Gary Graham Swenchonis Jr., 26, Rockport, Texas
- Ensign Andrew Triplett, 31, of Macon, Mississippi
- Seaman Craig Bryan Wibberley, 19, of Williamsport, Maryland
May the Lord be with their families and friends this day, they are I’m sure still mourning their loved ones passings, but I would like for them to know that their deaths will never be foregotten nor were they in vein. GOD bless them all!