WAKE FOREST — One of the survivors of the attack on the USS Cole has relatives in Wake Forest. Even though their son is safe, the family is grieving for other families whose children are not coming home.
For 12 anxious hours, Judy Wishart thought the worst had happened to her 22-year-old son, Adam. He has lived on the USS Cole for more than two years. If the deadly explosion had gone off five minutes later, Adam would have been in the mess hall, where the blast did the most damage.
"An explosion happened that threw him to the ceiling in his work area, hitting his neck and his back," she says. "When he came down, they just went into emergency mode."
Judy went to work at the restaurant she owns in Wake Forest while she waited for word about Adam. Even when the Wisharts knew Adam was safe, they could not celebrate.
"The joy I thought I would feel if I heard he was OK was not there," she says. "I really went into disbelief, then to a feeling of deep sorrow. Just deep sorrow."
That sorrow is being shared by the entire nation. General Hugh Shelton, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a North Carolina native, offered his prayers to the families of the bombing victims, and a warning to whoever is responsible.
"I think that all of us understand our government will spare no effort in trying to track down the perpetrator of this hideous crime or incident, and that we will, in fact, take appropriate action, if and when, we can find them."
Wishart plans to stay on the ship until the repairs are finished and the U.S.S. Cole can come home. His parents plan to attend Wednesday's memorial service in Norfolk for the sailors who died.