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This short and to the point story tells of a forgotten event in our history that, to those involved, was as emotional and heart wrenching as 9/11. Seventeen unarmed and unsuspecting sailors were enroute by bus to another part of their base in Puerto Rico 5 miles down the road when they were ambushed and left for dead. The story is given credence by the fact that woman author was a Naval officer stationed there when this tragedy took place. She explains how the enemy knew just when and where to make their appearance, as well as the eyewitness account of the ordeal as given her by the surviving sailors. This is a historical event that wont be found in our history books, but an ever-present part of the lives of the people involved, and how they have learned to deal with it.
I share the author's experience and her battles are similar to mine. During the following nine years of service, I had to explain why I wore a Purple Heart ribbon as a part of my dress uniform. Therefore, the December 3, 1979 event was refreshed in my mind over and over again. I have never sought help because I still doubt that anyone can understand. I salute Mrs. Stovall for a story well told and do remember serving with her.
Thank you for sharing this story. Most Americans do not know about this terrorist attack. The chapters on the history of Puerto Rico were informative & helpful. Your description of the event was tactful & respectful to the victims & their families, although attack was quite the opposite. Your tributes to the deceased were very thoughtful & you seemed proud to have known them. Those of us who remember this tragedy occassionally research in order to find any updates. One of the men involved was finally brought to justice this year. Hopefully this will bring some closure. My father was stationed at Sebana Seca & I remember when this happened, even though I was seven years old. I was waiting for school at the bus stop with other children & someone (I don't remember who, maybe the bus driver) told us to go home & that we did not have school. After hearing about what happened, I wished that never happened & that we had school that day. John & Patty Ball were very good friends with my parents & fellow runner. I remember him just being a very nice man. John Ball had two children who I knew & who were my friends. Emil White helped at basketball games where my father refereed & loved running the scoreboard. Although I don't remember him, I do know we heard of his death after the attack. Our families grieved & were shocked over the losses. However, I think it is safe to say the ones who lost the most were John Ball, Emil White, & their families. These two men lost their lives & their families were left without them. John Ball's wife was left a widow & their children left fatherless. Emil White's family was left without their son. None of us can even fathom the pain in which they endured.Read more ›
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Unfortunately the book is a bust. The author spends three pages on the ambush and the rest is on her. She is suffering Traumatic Stress Syndrome. She was not on the bus or at the ambush location. But just serving on the quarterdeck as a watch officer. Nothing about the terrorist or the ensuing investigation.