August 12th, 2011
07:55 AM ET

The stories of those who lost their lives in Chinook crash

Editor's note: For more details of those who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan please visit our Home & Away interactive feature. You can also click on the names of those who died in the Chinook crash below to leave a message or memorial. You can also click here to learn more about each of those who died and what their family members had to say about them.

[Updated Friday at 7:53 a.m. ET] The U.S. Defense Department released the names of U.S. military personnel killed in Saturday's downing of a helicopter in Afghanistan.

Thirty-eight people were killed in that attack, eight of them Afghan military personnel. It was the single largest loss of life for U.S. troops since the Afghan war began in late 2001.

Of the 30 Americans, 17 were Navy SEALs.  Twenty-two of the dead were U.S. Navy personnel, the Pentagon said.  Fifteen were SEALs belonging to the top-secret unit that conducted the raid that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden at a compound in Pakistan.  Two others were SEALs assigned to a regular naval special operations unit.

Five were so-called conventional forces with particular specialties who regularly worked with the SEALs. The other eight U.S. troops killed were three Air Force forward air controllers and five Army helicopter crew members.

NATO said it killed the militants responsible for the attack.  Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid rejected that, saying a NATO airstrike killed a separate group of insurgents.

The following list was provided by the Defense Department:

The following sailors assigned to an East Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Lt. Cmdr. (SEAL) Jonas B. Kelsall, 32, of Shreveport, La.

The Shreveport native was in charge of Saturday’s mission in Wardak province near Kabul. His father, John Kelsall, who heads Lakewood, California’s, Chamber of Commerce, told CNN affiliate KTLA in a statement, “The country will never understand the level of service those guys gave us.” KABC reported that Kelsall, 33, was trained in San Diego, and he met his wife of three years while attending the University of Texas.

Special Warfare Operator Master Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Louis J. Langlais, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif.

Langlais enlisted in the Navy in June 1986 and began training to be a part of the SEAL team three years later. After joining the Navy Parachute team for three years, he moved on to serve in several East Coast-based SEAL teams for 10 years, according to the Navy.

During his service, Langlais received four Bronze Stars with distinction for valor, two Joint Service Commendation Medals, medals for his work in the war on terror and for his marksmanship, among many other medals and ribbons.

Special Warfare Operator Senior Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Thomas A. Ratzlaff, 34, of Green Forest, Ark.

The 34-year-old Green Forest, Arkansas, native had a motto, according to CNN affiliate KYTV: “There’s two ways to do things: Do them right or do them again.”

Ratzlaff enlisted in 1995 and served in two Special Warfare Units during his time, according to the Navy. During that time, he received several awards, including the Bronze Star Medal with Combat for valor. Ratzlaff leaves behind two sons – 6 and 11 years old – and a wife who is expecting the couple’s third child in November. KYTV spoke to his high school teachers. He played middle linebacker for the football team. Science teacher Bruce Culver joked that he was the best at dissecting frogs, and his friend Kevin Disheroon told the station that Ratzlaff always wanted to be a SEAL. He went to boot camp just weeks after his 1995 graduation from high school.

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Senior Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Kraig M. Vickers, 36, of Kokomo, Hawaii

More than 200 surfers paddled off Sandbridge – one of Vickers’ favorite spots for stand-up paddling – and locked hands in honor of the 36-year-old Navy SEAL who rode the waves of Virginia Beach, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

Vickers was stationed in Virginia Beach and lived there with his pregnant wife and three children - 4, 7 and 18 years old. Back in his hometown of Maui, Hawaii, friends and family also fondly remembered the brawny former high school wrestler and football player. Mary Jane Vickers told CNN affiliate KITV that her son was a good Christian and family man, not to mention a “devoted father, son and serviceman.” Following Tuesday’s “paddle out” in Virginia Beach, those attending whooped, splashed and cast hundreds of flowers into the ocean.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, Conn.

The Stamford, Connecticut, native was a man of ambition. The chief petty officer and SEAL was a mountaineer who wanted to complete the seven summits – the highest peak on each continent – and he wanted to one day be an astronaut, CNN affiliate WFSB reported. He also was a skier, a pilot and a triathlete, his stepfather, Michael Parry, said, further describing Bill as thoughtful, compassionate and “remarkably gifted.” A graduate of Norwich University in Vermont, Bill played tennis, soccer and hockey in high school, and coaches said there was a quiet toughness about him.

"We're mourning, if anything else, his unfulfilled dreams,” Parry said during a news conference.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) John W. Faas, 31, of Minneapolis, Minn.

Faas enlisted in the Navy in 1999 and became a SEAL in 2001.

Among many awards, he earned three Bronze Stars with valor distinctions and a National Defense Service medal, according to the Navy.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Kevin A. Houston, 35, of West Hyannisport, Mass.

The Cape Cod native lived in Chesapeake, Virginia, with his wife and three children, according to CNN affiliate WVEC. In 1994, he graduated from high school (where he captained his football team) in a wheelchair after having a nasty motorcycle accident. He became a SEAL a few years later.

“He was born to do this job." his mother told the station. "He’d do it all over again.”

Just weeks ago, according to CNN affiliate WTKR, Houston gave an American flag - which he’d worn under his armor during his last three Afghanistan tours – to veteran Chris Kelly, a man who inspired him. Kelly told the station he was too heartbroken to be interviewed.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Matthew D. Mason, 37, of Kansas City, Mo.

The Navy SEAL's former high school peer Eric Marshall, now the vice principal of their Kearny, Missouri, alma mater, said he remembers Mason as “a tough kid.”

“It didn't surprise anybody that he was able to have that type of success, and achieve Navy SEAL status," Marshall told CNN affiliate KSHB-TV.

John Ball, one of Mason’s former teachers and football coaches, told KSHB-TV that someone approached him asking if he remembered Mason, who graduated in 1992 before moving on to Northwest Missouri State University, where he played baseball. Ball said he immediately remembered his former student and his occupation. “I looked at him and said ‘Don’t tell me, don’t tell me, don’t tell me,’ ” Ball told KSHB-TV. Mason lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia, with his two sons and his wife, who is expecting a third child in November, KSHB-TV reported.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Stephen M. Mills, 35, of Fort Worth, Texas

The father of three children – 1, 13 and 18 years old - had a tremendous sense of humor, friends and family told CNN affiliate WTKR, and the 14-year Navy veteran loved being a SEAL. A sister of the 36-year-old chief petty officer told CNN affiliate KVUE that he never bragged about being a SEAL, despite a decade in the elite force.

“He loved his teammates as brothers. He'll always be remembered as a loving person,” Ashley Mills told the station.

His cousin, J.B. Abbott, told KVUE that the central Texas native was “very proud and very brave.”

Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician Chief Petty Officer (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist/Diver) Nicholas H. Null, 30, of Washington, W.Va.

Null, 30, enlisted in the navy in 2000 and had been a SEAL since 2009, according to a bio from the United States Navy.

Originally from West Virginia, Null's many ribbons, medals and awards included two Bronze Stars, two Navy and Marine Corps Commendation medals, and three Navy and Marine Corps Achievement medals.

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Robert J. Reeves, 32, of Shreveport, La.

The 32-year-old chief petty officer grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana, with Lt. Cmdr. Jonas Kelsall, who was in charge of the Afghanistan mission that ended with Saturday’s helicopter crash. They went to school, played soccer and became Navy SEALs together. On a Facebook page set up in Reeves’ memory, one poster said, “You could always make the boys laugh, dude.”

Another described him as “sweet, funny and kind-hearted … More than anything, though, Rob was most passionate about the Navy and his role as a SEAL.”

Special Warfare Operator Chief Petty Officer (SEAL) Heath M. Robinson, 34, of Detroit, Mich.

Robinson enlisted in the Navy in 1996 and completed SEAL training in Coronado, California, in 2000. He moved from the West Coast in 2004 to serve on four East Coast special warfare units, according to the Navy.

Robinson earned four Bronze Stars, three of which had special distinctions for valor, in addition to many other medals and awards.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Darrik C. Benson, 28, of Angwin, Calif.

He was born and raised in Angwin, a small town in Napa County, California, so it was natural that people wanted to know about his SEAL training. Those who knew him, however, say he was low-key and not one to talk about himself, CNN affiliate KGO-TV reported. He went to a private high school, where he was a good student and athlete.

Benson joined the Navy in September 2001, and he became a SEAL in 2003, according to the Navy. Benson has earned a Bronze Star and a Presidential Unit Citation, as well as many other medals, awards and ribbons.

His grandfather, Carlyle Benson, told affiliate KTVU that he recently earned his commercial pilot’s license and wanted to be a pilot after he left the military. Darrik Benson served in the Navy for 12 years, and Carlyle Benson said he was “a fine boy” and “one of the top men in his group.” He met his wife, Kara, in San Diego, and she moved to Virginia with their 3-year-old son to be closer to him.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Parachutist) Christopher G. Campbell, 36, of Jacksonville, N.C.

The Navy SEAL, 36, from Jacksonville, North Carolina, told his family that if he were killed in the line of duty, he would want a donation made to the Wounded Warrior Project, according to CNN affiliate WNCT. His high school friend, Joe Baile, told CNN affiliate WCTI that years would go by between their visits, but “then we'd be at somebody's house and they'd stop by when everyone was home for Christmas or something like that and play basketball together.”

Joe’s dad, Jack, coached Campbell’s high school football team. He recalled that Campbell was small for football when he joined the team his junior year, but “he didn’t have a whole lot of fear of anything.”

Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist/Freefall Parachutist) Jared W. Day, 28, of Taylorsville, Utah

Day enlisted in 2002, according to his Navy bio. He served at the Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic Detachment in Keflavik, Iceland, until July 2004, then began SEAL training.

He had been part of the East Coast SEAL team since 2007. He earned a Joint Combat Commendation Medal with a distinction for valor, an Army Commendation Medal, a Joint Service Achievement Medal, and several other medals, ribbons and awards.

Master-at-Arms Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, of South Sioux City, Neb.

Douangara, a native of Sioux City, Nebraska, enlisted in the Navy in 2003 and joined his East Coast SEAL team in 2008.

He earned a Bronze Star with a distinction for valor, a Presidential Unit Citation and many other awards.

Cryptologist Technician (Collection) Petty Officer 1st Class (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) Michael J. Strange, 25, of Philadelphia, Pa.

Charles Strange told CNN affiliate WPVI that three SEALs delivered news of his son’s death to his Mayfair, Pennsylvania, home Saturday. Michael Strange, a 25-year-old petty officer, was on his third tour in Afghanistan, and his brother said Michael – a member of SEAL Team 6 - always wanted to be in the military. Sources told the station that in addition to his parents and two siblings, Michael Strange also left behind a fiancée. He had just purchased a home in Virginia.

"Michael loved this country, he loved Philadelphia, he loved North Catholic [High School, where he graduated], he loved Mayfair, he loved his friends." his father said.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL/Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist) Jon T. Tumilson, 35, of Rockford, Iowa

The town of Rockford, Iowa, is proud to call Tumilson one of its sons. The 35-year-old Navy SEAL graduated from high school in 1995, but neighbors recall his holiday visits as he was often seen jogging through town, CNN affiliate KCCI reported. Tom Dow, who has known Tumilson’s family for years, told another affiliate, KIMT, that Tumilson was “young, full of life, good-looking kid, big and strong, real nice boy.”  Neighbor Leann Ginther said he was a hero.

“Just the fact that he sacrificed his life for all of us back here … I guess that’s what freedom is, is them doing that for us, but way too young of a guy to be losing his life,” she said.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Aaron C. Vaughn, 30, of Stuart, Fla.

Kimberly Vaughn met Aaron Vaughn in Guam when she traveled there with the Washington Redskins cheerleaders to entertain the troops. She said she last spoke with her husband the day before the fatal crash and, Kimberly Vaughan said, “We got to tell each other we loved each other, so it was a great conversation to have.” Kimberly Vaughn said she still plans to build their home in Virginia Beach, where she will raise their two children. His wife described her husband as a “warrior for Christ, and he was a warrior for our country, and he wouldn’t want to leave this Earth any other way than how he did.”

"Even if you could tell him that this would have happened, he would have done it anyway," she said.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jason R. Workman, 32, of Blanding, Utah

The Navy SEAL was one of four brothers, the oldest a West Point graduate, according to CNN affiliate KTVX. Workman grew up in Blanding, Utah, and gained a reputation as a compassionate guy who worked hard and loved sports. Family friend Rick Eldredge said of the 32-year-old petty officer first class, “He would do anything to help the guy across the table from him. … He was just willing to do anything for anybody, and he's proven by giving his life to this country," affiliate KSL-TV reported.

Late last year, Workman, who has served in the Navy for eight years, returned home to train police officers, the station reported. He was planning to do so again in December. His family released a statement saying he loved his job and was “the best of the best.” He left behind a 21-month-old son.

The following sailors assigned to a West Coast-based Naval Special Warfare unit were killed:

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 1st Class (SEAL) Jesse D. Pittman, 27, of Ukiah, Calif.

Pittman enlisted in the Navy in March 2005 and completed SEAL training in March 2006, according to the Navy.

Pittman reported to the the Naval Special Warfare Training Center Detachment in Kodiak, Alaska. He returned to the West Coast SEAL team in 2007.

Special Warfare Operator Petty Officer 2nd Class (SEAL) Nicholas P. Spehar, 24, of Saint Paul, Minn.

Spehar enlisted in the Navy in 2007.

He became a SEAL in 2008 and was a member of the West Coast SEAL team, according to the Navy. Among his many awards, Spehar earned an Army Commendation Medal and two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals.

The soldiers killed were:

Chief Warrant Officer David R. Carter, 47, of Centennial, Colo.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Aurora, Colo.

The National Guardsman had dreamed of being a pilot since his high school days in Kansas, CNN affiliate KDVR reported. He was a chief warrant officer at Buckley Air Force Base in Aurora, Colo. “He was flying our nation’s elite forces into combat and, as an aviator, for him that is what he wanted to do,” Col. Chris Petty, a fellow pilot and Carter’s friend, told KDVR.

Carter’s family friend Yolanda Levesque spoke at a news conference in Centennial, Colorado, on a hilltop selected because its view of the surrounding hills was one of Carter’s favorites, according to KDVR. “He was an outstanding husband and father, son, brother and soldier,” Levesque said. “He was a friend to all who met him ... quick with a smile and always with a twinkle in his beautiful blue eyes.”

Chief Warrant Officer Bryan J. Nichols, 31, of Hays, Kan.  He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.

Bryan Nichols always wanted to be a solider. His father was in the Army and fought in Vietnam, his ex-wife Jessica Nichols said. Bryan and Jessica met in sixth grade, and she said he enlisted in the military before they had graduated high school. Nichols worked his way up through the ranks, and eventually piloted a helicopter with which he’d had a boyhood fascination. “He came across the Chinook …” she recalled. “His father flew Chinooks.” During the years Bryan and Jessica were married, he did three deployments. She had their son, Braydon, who is now 10. Bryan and Jessica’s marriage ended amicably, and he remarried.

Together with Bryan’s new wife, the three helped raised Braydon. The little boy dreamed also of flying one day, alongside his father, Jessica Nichols said. The boy, instead, posted an iReport on Saturday about his fallen father, in the hopes that the world would never forget him.

Sgt. Patrick D. Hamburger, 30, of Lincoln, Neb.  He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 135th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), Grand Island, Neb.

Chris Hamburger said his brother Patrick knew he was about to embark on an important and secret mission when he spoke to his family for the last time.  A helicopter flight engineer, he arrived in Afghanistan for his first tour of duty just days before the crash. Patrick Hamburger had a 2-year-old daughter with Candie Reagan, whom he was planning to marry when he returned to Nebraska next May, his brother said.  He was also helping raise Reagan's 13-year-old daughter. Hamburger sent an e-mail to Reagan the day before his death.

"Please don't worry about me," Hamburger wrote.  He added, "this place isn't going to change me, I'm going to change this place."

Sgt. Alexander J. Bennett, 24, of Tacoma, Wash.  He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.

After his 2009 deployment to Iraq, the Army specialist moved from Tacoma, Washington, to Overland Park, Kansas, to learn how to be a Chinook mechanic. Sgt. 1st Class Kirk Kuykendall, who was at home in Overland Park recuperating from a helicopter crash himself, told CNN affiliate KCTV that he served with Bennett in Iraq and considered him like a son.

“You wouldn't find a better flight engineer or soldier. … Wherever Alex goes, I will go so I can pay my final respects,” Kuykendall said. Bennett loved cars and the military, and pal Edward Tuck fondly recalled in a KOMO interview the time they spent under the hood of a Honda talking about life.

Another friend, Jessica Hall, told the station that Bennett was always smiling and joking. "He died doing exactly what he loved, she said. “Alex was a hero.”

Spc. Spencer C. Duncan, 21, of Olathe, Kan.  He was assigned to the 7th Battalion, 158th Aviation Regiment (General Support Aviation Battalion), New Century, Kan.

Duncan left his hometown in Kansas because he wanted to serve his country, The Olathe News reported.

"He wrote how much he loved his job as a door gunner on a Chinook helicopter," the local paper said. "But he also told his friends that in the quiet amid the stark landscape of Afghanistan, he missed the Kansas sunsets, lying in a truck bed listening to the radio and cuddling with his sweetie."

The airmen, who were assigned to the 24th Special Tactics Squadron, Pope Field, N.C. that were killed were:

Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown, 33, of Tallahassee, Fla.

The technical sergeant from Siloam Springs, Arkansas, studied pre-med before joining the U.S. Air Force to become a pararescueman, his mother, Elizabeth Newlun told CNN affiliate KFSM. His friend, Jon Woods, told the station that Brown was popular, athletic and loved a challenge. “He was just an all-American G.I. Joe, just a great guy who loved his country,” Woods said.

Newlun read KFSM a letter that Brown’s uncle had written, describing the airman as “Rambo without the attitude” and “brave but never arrogant, powerful but always gentle.” He was married and had no children.

Staff Sgt. Andrew W. Harvell, 26, of Long Beach, Calif.

The combat controller with the 24th Special Tactics Squadron was not only a "bad-ass warrior" but also, a loving husband to wife Krista and caring father to sons Hunter and Ethan, his wife said in a statement.

"We will miss him forever but we take solace knowing he gave his life serving his country and fighting for what he believed was right."

Harvell was stationed at Pope Air Force Base, which this year was merged with Fort Bragg, before heading to Afghanistan, according to the Air Force.

Tech. Sgt. Daniel L. Zerbe, 28, of York, Pa.

The 28-year-old Air Force medic joined the military right after graduating from high school in 2001, according to CNN affiliate WGAL-TV. A native of Red Lion, Pennsylvania, who wrestled and played football, Zerbe was a team player who could always be counted on, his former football coach told the station. His friend, Mike Vogel, who joined the Marines after high school, called Zerbe an “absolute hero,” and Red Lion schools superintendent released a statement, saying, “Dan wanted to make a difference in the world, so he joined the military,” according to CNN affiliate WHTM.

soundoff (1,049 Responses)
  1. Lyndsie Graham

    I see that these right-wing nitwits managed to flood this web page with their corney sob stories. The right-wing news media has these bozoes all but canonized as saints already. I wonder if the Russian news media went half as far when they were in Afghanistan! This is starting to get awfully old!

    August 11, 2011 at 9:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ct Yankee

      It's funny but I think you may have made a point in oppositon to your political position.........i know for a fact that the Soviet Union would not have reported this in their version of the media for obvious reasons pertinent to their ideaology...........of course, as you know, there is no Soviet Union anymore.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Neither Right-Wing, Nor a Nitwit

      I'm a liberal, and people like you embarrass me.

      August 11, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Cj

    If the author of the article wanted to be neutral he could write a note for the more than 100.000 civilians that were also KILLED in Afghanistan, so that we compare the sad event of the 38 deaths here described with the 100.000 deaths of non military from the other side.
    May all rest in peace, but wait a minute, WHO IS REALLY creating the WAR and killing peace? Saddam? Osama bin Laden or ... USA Gov?

    August 11, 2011 at 9:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yep...

      Do you honestly think that cutting and running will miraculously end the violence?

      Maybe you should read up on the history of these extremists. You can start with the Baath Party's nerve gasing of the Kurds. Or perhaps the Taliban's 1998 Hazara massacre.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • reb362

      You really need to school YOURSELF! I have a college degree, but that in no way increased my intellect. It was from self learning, by both my thirst for knowledge and from experience. You, however, show no evidence of that with your assumption that all parties in a war are inherently evil. Study humanity Cj. Learn SOMETHING! Perhaps then you too can merge your budding philosophy into a merging of human history and psychology and you will realize there is a good side and a bad side. The good side may not be perfect, but it allows you to exist as an ignorant ass, while the bad side would do us all a favor by never letting us hear from you again!

      August 11, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mind Reader

    I am at a disadvantage, for I cannot read Obama's mind, but I never know if he's being sincere or if he really cares about the dead soldiers. I almost had tears in my eyes just seeing the scene where the bodies came back, yet I never see any president be brought to that kind of emotion. I know Obama can't win, because if he doesn't show up for these troops then he will be called unamerican, so he risks looking like a political opportunist. If it were me I would honor the dead by getting all their comrades out of these foreign countries, especially while Rome is burning.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Darwin

    So much for free speech! Apparently my comment (which had no profanity in it) was too nihilistic for their liking.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ct Yankee

      Rephrase brother!.......rephrase! us some good old fashioned nihilism..............I love nihilism............"live free or die".

      August 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Yvette B

    Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. My thoughts are with the friends and family of these men.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Poleece

    @Darwin: There are some words that aren't vulgar, but have a vulgar word within the spelling. T_I_tanium would be one of those words. It's a computer not a person.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darwin

      I'll sum up what I said. It's sad, but I don't condone war of any kind. I don't appreciate it when people say they died for my freedom. America isn't being attacked. So them dying in another country, in a war I don't support, isn't my fault. It’s hard to put into words, but it almost feels like every soldier that dies is being blamed on us because they died “defending our freedom”. I didn’t send them or ask them to go to Iraq and Afghanistan. If we were being invaded by China (for example) and they died, then I would say they died protecting me and my family. Hell, I’d even jump in and help.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Yep...

      Well nevermind 9/11 and the embassy bombings; the US has never been attacked, right?

      Read up on these terrorists' goals - what they would do if they had the means, and Western militaries weren't in their way. They're not freedom fighters just trying to get a foreign military out of their country. They're fascists who want to create a brutal Muslim theocracy that covers the globe. They hate America because a democratic, secular government is completely at odds with their fascism.

      I get so tired of hearing this argument that the military doesn't do anything for us because we aren't attack, when it's the military that is keeping such an attack from happening in the first place.

      You sound like a spoiled child, and I had to laugh at the "I'd jump in" bit. Yeah right, tough guy.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:58 am | Report abuse |
    • GC

      Darwin; military members live their lives in service to their country. You can't be so cavalier in ducking responsibility. Your elected officials sent them there. You don't like it, change it. People are dying in a war you don't support because YOU have not served your country adequately.

      August 12, 2011 at 4:09 am | Report abuse |
    • Berble

      you are a naughty boy.

      August 12, 2011 at 8:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Candyman

      Darwin........It appears you are not actually a nihilist but you are selfish, disrespectful, and ungrateful for those that have come before you and have given you the freedom to irresponsibly vomit out a lot of nonsense to a lot of people who really do know better than you.

      August 12, 2011 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Darwin

      You're welcome to your opinions. For the record I, my father, and my grandfather have served in the military, so I know a little bit about the risks involved. That’s also why my views on this topic have changed. Also, not that it's any of your business, but my family is poor, so please make your point without insulting me. You don't know me, and you don't know what you're talking about. In FACT, there are a lot of scary things in this world that our government doesn't tell you. Why is that? It’s simple, if they did people would just panic. That’s not a conspiracy theory, that’s a FACT. Just live every day like it's your last, keep believing everything you're told, and stay in your little boxes. I noticed that not one of you gave a legitimate argument as to how being in Iraq and Afghanistan is helping us. Perhaps you could enlighten me a little. I highly doubt it though, seeing as how 9/10 Americans have no idea. 9/11 was a random attack, just like all of the random terrorist attacks all over the world, and we didn’t find any WMD’s. We're fighting an enemy we can't see and don't understand. They all look the same, they all dress the same, and the problem is we don't know which ones have a bomb on them until it's too late. It's one big pointless Whack-A-Mole game. We're never going to get all of the "bad guys" in the name of God and justice like you’ve been brainwashed to believe. Will our enemies get through and attack us? In all honest, yes they will. Is that scary? Yes it is. Let’s stop building up other nations that just turn around and try to kill us, and bring all of our troops home to defend us on our soil. To the person who wrote this, “Your elected officials sent them there. You don't like it, change it”. I’m ready to start the revolution whenever you are buddy. Oh wait… were probably implying I should us my power as a voter and choose a politician who lies about how much they’re going to change our country. If so, I laugh directly in your face.

      August 12, 2011 at 8:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • CT Yankee

      So Darwin, your solution is total isolation from the rest of the world? you really think that is possible?

      August 13, 2011 at 12:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Berble

      "If so, I laugh directly in your face" is not a remark that a veteran would make and to say you are one when you are clearly not old enough to have served is a very terrible thing to do...........shame on you, i agree with CT yankee.

      August 13, 2011 at 12:54 am | Report abuse |
    • CT Yankee

      I agree with CT Yankee as well.

      August 13, 2011 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Darwin

      I still don't see a valid argument as to how I'm wrong. YAWN!

      August 15, 2011 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Darwin

      P.S. Berble, you agree with CT Yankee because you are CT Yankee, Candyman, and probably several other people on this blog. It's the ........... that gave you away. Get a life!

      August 16, 2011 at 12:10 am | Report abuse |
    • CT Yankee

      Actually you are almost correct.........but not quite..........while we are not the same person, we do actually know each other.........berble lives in the next town over and I've known him for a long time.........he just wanted to get in on the fun.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:02 am | Report abuse |
    • CT Yankee

      Beside that............i think I use a lot more...........................than anybody indicates a long pause.

      August 16, 2011 at 1:05 am | Report abuse |
  7. Ct Yankee

    I will bet you a dollar that (i asssume it is Cj you're referencing) that he/she is not even in this country and may not be an American as well just based on their phrasing of "USA gov" and "here described".........remember folks, anarchy appeals to the young and it may be Cj's self induced duty to try to rev you up a bit..........don't give him/her the victory.

    August 11, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Alpha-November

    I served and trained with SSgt Harvell,...when we were together,.He was an A1C and then a SrA,...I didnt know he made it the hill....
    last time I saw Andy he was nursing a shattered ankle after a bad landing.....RIP Brother.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • The Baghwan

      There seems to be some discrepancy about the U S Air Force personnel and what their role was. I have seen them described as forward air controllers and I have seen two of them described as USAF Pararescueman. As a former USAF Pararescueman I salute these brave warriors but I wish the media would get it right.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Isolated1

      I have had the pleasure of knowing a few of my fellow Pararescueman. Rest in peace brothers...the creed that we live by "That Others May Live" will continue. For the other combat in arms, Thank You and RIP! You will not be forgotten! A hero in my books.

      To The Baghwan...I felt the same disappointment with the reporter(s) about SEAL this, SEAL that, but call our guys Airmen instead of what they are...but you know what, it doesn't matter – same team, same mission – TF B. The AF is quiet about our Special Ops and this proves that. We know who and what they did and that's all that matters – CRO 01-001

      August 12, 2011 at 2:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. William

    Thank you for your service to this country. God bless, rest in peace.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:05 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Ct Yankee

    I would be willing to bet a dollar that he or she is not even in the U.S. or that they are an American just based on the use of the term "USA Gov" and "here described" may be that he or she feels it is their self induced duty to rev you up from where ever they really are.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. AF_Veteran

    There is no greater love than when a fellow human being lays down their life so that others may live. Every day our soldiers risk and lay down their lives for the love of our great and very blessed country. I lift up my hands to the heavens to thank and praise God for all of our soldiers. Bless the soldiers of all our Armed Forces and all the families and loved ones of those who serve, have served, and have given the ultimate sacrifice.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Roger james

    I was at a bar in a Virginia beach bar once. Bar maid was texting away instead of doing her job and I asked if he was worth her time. "oh, he is a navy seal and can kick your ass." humph. Wow. Okay. That is fine. He is a killer. Good for him. Good for you. We have lost hundreds of men and women in that place and few beat their chests till these guys get blasted to bits. What is wrong with America? Tillman died and few of you sounded off. oh..he wasnt a seal...

    August 11, 2011 at 11:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ct Yankee

      respectfully, you may have short memory on this subject.........Tillman was a U.S. Ranger and there was quite a bit of notoriety about him and you will see what i mean.....particularly about the manner in which he died and who was responsible........check well, the girl in the bar actually said he "could kick your ass".......according to your story she do not say he could or would "kill" you.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Roger james

      Hah. Tillman got his head blown out by his own guys. I have no idea what you mean by varying kick ass vs kill ass. Maybe in your feeble mind seals have blank check to kill Americans at their whim. If so, you are so right. I should have just laid down and groveled. you are a pud.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Roger james

      Ct Yankee you are what is wrong in America. You attach your lame self to whatever you feel is american without actually valuing what it means to be an actual American. Go watch fox news and read ww2 stories some more. Do some pushups at the foot of your bed as you think about your guns stored in their child proof safe in your closet. Hope for an intruder so you can blast him away and be justified. Idiot.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
    • Ct Yankee

      If, in fact, you have ever actually been to the United States........I can't decide if my advice to you would be to go back to the bar and harass some more barmaids or to seek help for your immense anger and/or hatred issues.........on the one hand, maybe a few appletinis would calm you down..........on the other hand, I would hate to inflict anyone with you until after a few hundred hours in therapyand a barrel full of anti-depressants.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Epicurus

      I'd be surprised if "Roger James" was more than 15 years old.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Ct Yankee

      Since you were so upset that you felt you needed two posts to attack me properly I feel I owe you another as a matter of fact, i don't have a gun safe, child proof or otherwise.......i don't worry about intruders.........and it does not surprise that the distinction found in your own words eludes you.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Ct Yankee

      Probably so, Epicuris..........I think he may have inadvertently blurted out his true nature.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Roger james

      I love you guys. I do. It is what America needs. My anger stems from people attaching themselves to guys who give all to schmucks who do not value their lives at all. Do you really think the politicians who ultimately sent these guys into that country care for them? Nope. The guys who died were the ultimate pawns. They bought into it all and are dead. If we leave that country tomorrow what does it matter? Nada. Not like Afghanistan will attack us. Taliban is all over the world.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:51 am | Report abuse |
    • Epicurus

      First off, terrorists from Afghanistan have attacked us. (Or are you a 9/11 truther, too?)

      Second, you seem to be mistaking the Taliban for Al Qaeda. So much for your expertise.

      August 12, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • CT Yankee

      Gee, don't back down now Rog.........I was enjoying your arbitrary, antagonistic repartee........I am touched that you love us but I on the other hand (maybe I'm old fashioned) am a bit more on the coy side and have only a limited sense of how I feel about you..........but al least I don't hate you or otherwise wish you ill........that's something, right?........I do think you are missing the point on the nature of the Seals sense of duty and the reasons they do what they do........they are not attached to any particular political leaders........they are compelled by the necessity to defend their loved ones which by extension includes you and I even if they do not know us personally or we is a very old belief system and it is as strong as any religious belief even though it is technically not a is a belief that says anyone, of any religious faith, of any race, of any social class, while they are walking down the street discussing anyhting they want without fear has the right to do so without having a building fall on top of them because someone flew a hijacked plane full of civilians into it............that is what they believed in, in a nutshell..........and I swear to God that that is the has nothing to do with conquest or reward or anything has to do with freedom............and they also knew and accepted the price they might have to pay..........that is called bravery...........and that is why we cry here now because they are no longer with us.................while I'm sure you will castigate me somehow for what I write here I want you to know in your heart that I do not care if you do because this is what i know to be true.

      August 12, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  13. Rick

    Rest in peace comrads.
    "All gave some and some gave all
    And some stood through for the red, white and blue
    And some had to fall
    And if you ever think of me
    Think of all your liberties and recall
    Some gave all"

    August 11, 2011 at 11:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jim cone

      Hope that prayer includes  Marine Lance Cpl. Nicholas S. Ott...but then again... he wasn't a seal. For me, it does.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:39 am | Report abuse |
  14. David Crosby

    So how did the Taliban find out the SeaL's were aboard..sounds like we have the same problem in Afghanistan that we have in Pakistan..enemies on all sides and no way to tell them apart.. a dark day for the Dead Cowboys..they'll live forever...

    August 11, 2011 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jim cone

    Why this story has usurped the countless deaths of marines, army, navy, air force, coast guard men and women escapes me. Every death is tragic. Yet, many of you feel that a seal is worth 20x anyone else. Seals are the most brainwashed machines in America; Automatons who know nothing except what they are told. You think they are wonderful, yet they are just the ultimate pawns. Go and kill. Valueless to a productive world.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ct Yankee

      Wow!...........your command of english is quite good considering.........however, your conclusions are quite a Seal worth more than say 3 or 4 or 5 regular infantryman in a combat situation? very least hopefully if the infantryman are insurgents.........are their lives worth more than anyone else's?, of course is quite commonly known however, at least here in the U.S., that these particular soldiers as are other special forces, trained to think for themselves and to adapt to any situation thrown at it leads me to believe that your vitriolic rhetoric is factually baseless and clearly the opinion of an extremist sympathizer............hopefully, like you, the rest of our enemies will equally underestimate us as you and they have done in the past.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:17 am | Report abuse |
    • Jim cone

      Exactly why they assassinated bin Ladin instead of bringing him in. They were told to do so...(to borrow your horrible use of ...) so they did. Per you they are capable of anything. If a Seattle cop can use a taser to take down a thug then a seal can easily tase bin Ladin and bring him back. But, we... didnt ...want ...that. Execute a foreign national in a foreign land. That is so American... ... ... ...

      August 12, 2011 at 12:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Epicurus

      Go listen to Alex Jones and pretend to be superior to everyone, little boy.

      And quit posting under these stupid names.

      August 12, 2011 at 12:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Berble

      Bin Laden wasn't assasinated..........he was shot while resisting arrest.

      August 13, 2011 at 6:34 am | Report abuse |
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