Summers County U.S.S. Cole Survivor Speaks

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The U.S.S. Cole was bombed in Yemen’s Aden Harbor almost 17 years ago, where 17 American sailors were killed and 39 injured.

Tim Eerenberg, Hinton native and U.S. Navy veteran, was on the vessel during the attack when he was 20 years old.

“Got hit by the blast, didn’t really know what was going on,” Eerenberg said. “I was confused, got knocked unconscious at first. I woke up, and chaos was there.”

Eerenberg said he suffered serious injuries from the attack and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder through the years after it happened. 

“You try not to dwell on a lot of things, but you know, it’s there and it’s part of who you are at that point,” he said. “So you never really move past it, you just live with it.”

The man believed to be responsible for planning the attack on the Cole is expected to go to trial in 2018. This comes after a two-week review of the case that wrapped up last week in Guantanamo Bay.

The prosecution team feels it now has the strongest case possible with physical evidence and disturbing images of the sailors who were killed in the attack.

“It was a setback for a lot of us, I mean it was obviously very emotional,” CMDCM James Parlier, retired U.S.S. Cole Command Master Chief, told 59News over the phone. “But it brought a real reality to the judge. After all these years, he needed to see all this stuff because it put this all in perspective why we need to go forward and get this trial going next year.”

But Eerenberg said he’s never expected immediate results from a trial of this magnitude. He told 59News regardless of what happens it court, it still wouldn’t bring him any closure.

“It’s more of a, ‘how do you just move past what’s happened and just start living again,'” Eerenberg said.

There is no set date for the trial. 

Follow @Joe_Putrelo on Twitter. 

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