TEMECULA, Calif., Aug. 7, 2014 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- "… new light on a tragic chapter of the Vietnam War. …American Boys is worth your attention."

--Joseph L. Galloway, co-author of We Were Soldiers Once...and Young

"This is the story of one of the greatest--still unresolved--tragedies of the Vietnam War, one the U.S. Navy has pretended had nothing to do with it..."

--John Prados, bestselling author of Vietnam: The History of an Unwinnable War

"With stellar reporting and strong writing… a classic story of men and war."

--Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA, Aug. 7—After four years of research into an ongoing, unresolved tragedy of the Vietnam War, journalist Louise Esola is getting ready to release a groundbreaking book that sets the record straight on the controversial sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans 45 years ago.  

The issue now making headlines across the country—stemming from the United States Capitol building to the more recent National Veterans of Foreign Wars Convention in St. Louis—is the belief that the names of the 74 men who perished on the Evans off the coast of Vietnam on June 3, 1969 have been unjustly excluded on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. It's an issue Congress and the nation's strongest veterans' organization, joining the endorsement of the United States Navy, hope to correct. Esola, releasing her book on Sept. 2., hopes the Department of Defense will heed the truth about an ill-fated ship that left Long Beach, Calif. in 1969 only to help fight the war in Vietnam and never return.

American Boys: The True Story of the Lost 74 of the Vietnam War tells of the ongoing saga, a story left to a footnote in the tragic story of the Vietnam War…

It was 1969. War and protest rattled the nation while the troops marched on. The warships set sail. For coming-of-age American boys, death seemed one hill away. By then, nearly 300 of them were coming home in boxes each week. They were young men caught in a war machine, one of chance, circumstance, and misfortune. In a tragedy of just the same, lost in the turmoil of what would become America's most unpopular war, lies a story buried 1,100 fathoms deep in the blue waters off Vietnam.

In American Boys, journalist Louise Esola brings the ship back to life, dredging up the truth like never before.  In it, she has pieced together the first true account of the mysterious sinking of the USS Frank E. Evans and the story of the piss-and-vinegar sailors who struggled to keep this aging warship afloat only to meet the demands of the Vietnam War. In rich narrative detail relying on exclusive interviews, declassified information, personal letters, and more, American Boys tells the entire story: from the unrest among those who fought America's most controversial war to the office of the embattled President Nixon and his public affairs nightmare; from the brass of an ill-prepared, negligent, and taxed Navy to the nail-biting moments of tragic error that led to loss and a struggle to survive.

American Boys is about a war that sank, and took a ship with it, Esola told the Long Beach Press Telegram in June, 2014. In May, 2014, she told ABC News in Washington that the issue is "absurd" and that proof outweighs the Department of Defense's longtime ruling that the deaths do not meet criteria for inclusion on the Vietnam Wall. American Boys, she now says, is a bulletproof case for adding to the Vietnam Wall the names of 74 young men who perished on the Evans, in that war, during that turbulent time in America. It's time to look at facts, she adds. 

"The Department of Defense says they were out of the combat zone when the ship sank, but the ship's track record shows otherwise," said author Esola, whose 15-year career includes work for UT-San Diego, the Associated Press, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. "They were awarded a Vietnam Service Medal on the day they sank. Can the DoD explain that?"

Advanced-reader PDF galleys of American Boys are available for review. Please contact louise.esola@yahoo.com or visit www.louiseesola.com.

Media Contact: Louise Esola, Pennway Books, 760-715-1313, louise.esola@yahoo.com

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SOURCE Pennway Books



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