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The 45th anniversary of the sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans

Yesterday was the 45th anniversary of the tragedy that took the lives of 74 Americans on the USS Frank E. Evans. The photo here is of the survivors of the collision reading the names of their fallen shipmates. So much has been happening and so fast that I have been behind in my blogging so forgive me. First off, the U.S. House of Representives recently passed an amendment to the defense spending bill urging the secretary of defense to order that the names be added to the Vietnam Memorial--still has to pass the Senate and the president's desk but this is excellent news. (Does Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel, a Vietnam veteran and man who knew Mrs. Eunice Sage, a man who promised to help the veterans some 15 years ago, want to be that guy who just didn't see this through? I hope not.) The issue has been making its rounds in the news. I was quoted in this great piece in the Long Beach Press Telegram, click here. CBS also picked up the story, click here. And across the country it's been making headlines, click here.

In other news, American Boys is getting some attention from more reviewers and journalists. Here are a few recent plugs:

“With stellar reporting and strong writing, Louise Esola has rescued a largely forgotten incident of the Vietnam war: the sinking of the destroyer Frank E. Evans in 1969. “American Boys” traces the sailors from hometowns across America to their service aboard the ill-fated ship, giving the sailors the respect that their country has denied them. “American Boys” could easily become a classic story of men and war.”

--Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times

“Louise Esola’s finely-wrought account of a Vietnam-era disaster at sea and its unending impact on the drowned sailors’ loved ones will echo in your mind long after you’ve put it down. This beautiful, heart-breaking book should be required reading at the Pentagon and the White House.”

--Jack Cheevers, author of “Act of War: Lyndon Johnson, North Korea, and the Capture of the Spy Ship Pueblo.”

The feedback has been taking my breath away. I spent a little over three years researching and writing American Boys and it's great to see that, according to others, I did a fabulous job.

Later this month I will have my official release date (which will be sometime in August) as well as details for presales and my book launch party. I'm working to do all I can to make this story known. As I often say, there is no way someone will read American Boys and think that these men did not die in the Vietnam War.

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