20 years after deadly bombing, honoring the USS Cole's legacy

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Two decades after the attack that cost the lives of 17 sailors, the legacy of USS Cole lives on — and Senior Chief Will Merchen has proof.He was a damage controlman on the Cole on that Oct. 12 in Aden, Yemen, his first deployment. He and his shipmates kept the destroyer afloat after a suicide bomb nearly tore the ship in two.In February, he was back. Merchen is now an inspector with Afloat Training Group Atlantic, responsible for seeing if sailors are hitting their marks on damage control tasks. In February, his job was to see how the 2020 crew of the Cole was doing.“I insp…

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