USS Cole e-mail

From: "Bruce K. Melson" <>

Subject:    USS Cole e-mail from a  SH-60B's off the USS Hawes.


> "It wasn't until a few days ago though, that we started doing something

> that I feel may be the first thing I've seen in my short Naval career

> that has truly made a difference.  Right now we're supporting the USS

> COLE and her crew in Aden.  When the attack occurred we were a day away.

> Just by luck we happened to be on our way out of the Gulf and headed

> towards the Suez and could get here in a relatively short amount of time.

>  I know what you all have seen on CNN, because we have seen it too.I just

> want you all to know that what you see doesn't even scratch the

> surface,to tell you that right now there are 250+  sailors just a few

> miles away living in hell on Earth.  I'm sitting in a nice air

> conditioned state room, they're sleeping out on the decks at night.  You

> can't even imagine the conditions they're living in, and yet they are

> still fighting 24 hours a day to save their ship and free the bodies of

> those still trapped and send them home.  As bad as it is, they're doing

> an incredible job. The very fact that these people are still functioning

> is beyond my comprehension.  Whatever you imagine as the worst, multiply

> it by ten and you might get there.  Today I was tasked to photo rig the

> ship and surrounding area.  It looked so much worse than I had

> imagined,unbelievable really, with debris and disarray everywhere, the

> ship isting, the hole in her side.  I wish I had the power to relay to

> you all what I have seen, but words just won't do it.  I do want to tell

> you the first thing that jumped out at me - the Stars and Stripes flying.

>  Ican't tell you how that made me feel...even in this God forsaken hell

> hole our flag was more beautiful than words can describe.  Then I started

> to notice the mass of activity going on below, scores of people working

> non-stop in 90 plus degree weather to save this ship.  They're doing it

> with almost no electrical power and they're sleeping (when they can

> sleep) outside on the decks because they can't stand the smell or the

> heat or the darkness inside.  They only want to eat what we bring them

> because they're all scared of eating something brought by the local

> vendors.  Even with all that, the USS COLE and her crew is sending a

> message guys, and it's that even acts of cowardice and hate can do

> nothing to the spirit and pride of the United States.  I have never been

> so proud of what I do, or of the men and women that I serve with as I was

> today.  There are sixteen confirmed dead sailors who put it on the line

> for all of us, and some of them are still trapped here.  Please take a

> minute to pray for their families and say a word of thanks for their

> sacrifice - one made so that we can live the lives that we do.  All of

> you that serve with me, thank you.  All of you that have loved ones that

> serve, thank you."


> Please feel free to pass this on to those you think will appreciate it.


> Surface Navy Association

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