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USS Cole Survivor Has Plenty To Be Thankful For This Year

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WAKE FOREST — Most of us have the usual list of things to be thankful on Thanksgiving - family, friends, and health, but one Wake Forest man added a new item to his list this year, his life. Sailor Adam Wishart survived the blast on the USS Cole and was able to come home for a very special homecoming.

On Thanksgiving, Judy Wishart is thankful for a lot of things, including his son's old work boots because they are a constant reminder of her son, Adam. Adam Wishart was on the USS Cole in Yemen in October when it was bombed. Thursday, he was home with his family.

"There's a very good chance that I would not be here today. Just being here with my family, it's awesome," Adam says.

This Thanksgiving has a special significance for the Wishart family. Adam's mother clipped every article about the attack and e-mailed her son everyday until his return. Thursday is both a celebration and a time to remember.

"Adam is here for Thanksgiving and 17 other kids are not, and Adam would not be here for Thanksgiving were it not for the 17 other lives that were lost so it's very bittersweet," Judy says.

Adam's parents believe he was spared because he has a special purpose in life.

"I lost some good friends and it will be awhile to get over that," Adam says. "There is a purpose for me still being here today. I just have to figure out what that is now."

Wishart and the other surviving sailors from the USS Cole will return to Norfolk on Dec. 1. The ship is expected to return to its home port around Dec. 10.

Wishart says he is eager to return to the ship. He says despite what happened, it is his home and his calling. The USS Cole is still on its way back to the United States.

The ship is loaded on the back of a gigantic freighter called the Blue Marlin. Repairs are scheduled to begin in January, and are expected to take about a year. Three of the injured Cole sailors are still being treated in Navy hospitals.

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Amanda Lamb, Reporter
Ken Bodine, Photographer
Kamal Wallace, Web Editor

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