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. peter lindstrom

    The Pentagon had ordered that NO photos be released from the receiving of the navy seal soldiers that were transported back to the US. Still the White House displayed one showing the president (if you want to call him that) . Why? Is the White House immune to the orders of the US Pentagon?


    August 11, 2011 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dbie

      Yep.... he is immune because he is THE ONE. *groan*
      Disgusts me how he turned this into a photo opp... but I expect nothing less from him.

      August 11, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stupid Question

      The President is the Commander in Chief. He is at the top of the military food chain. The Pentagoin does not issue the White House "orders" as you put it. Quite the opposite. (I am a military officer, so yes, I know).

      August 11, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • awijoone

      obummmer showing respect??? you are out of your mind. he disgusts me. thats done NOW God bless all the families and friends may they be strong for each other. God bless you and keep you safe, Thank you for your service!!!1!

      August 12, 2011 at 4:05 am | Report abuse |
    • Semper Fortis

      Peter and awijoone: Yes, I do want to call him OUR President. Moreover, I'll thank you NOT to talk about my Commander-in-Chief in such a disrespectful fashion.

      August 12, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  2. blueoctober

    If it is in fact true that 15 of the fallen were phisically present in Bin Laden's raid, I would start looking for a leak/spy somewhere.....

    August 11, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fact Checker

      Post your source before spreading made-up, unsubstantiated "facts."

      August 11, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • blueoctober

      "Fact Checker" read my post, "if it is in fact true...." the source was CNN reporting and by leak/spy I never meant our (US) side, I meant non-US (Afghans or others).

      August 11, 2011 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Disgusted

    someone tell me exactly what obama is doing, saluting anything? He disrespected the wishes of the family by being there with a photographer, he saluted when he served nobody except politics, and he shouldn't even be there. Our MEN deserved better. The FAMILIES deserved better. Disgusted. Absolutely disgusted.

    August 11, 2011 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Get your facts straight

      He was honoring the fallen. Most of the families wanted the names released, and he told the DOD to be cautious about it, before finally allowing it. I know you must hate the President for whatever reason, but you need to get your facts straight before posting something that some other ignoramous will take as fact. – A military officer.

      August 11, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. IAM59


    August 11, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Edward Sevume

    Sad for those lost during battle. One question is how they sent a Chinook without Apaches to provide protection!

    August 11, 2011 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Someone Who Knows

      They were assigned to a QRF (Quick Reaction Force). It needs to launch and be on target within minutes. If the QRF was dependent on 3 helicopters, with associated maintenance issues, it would be called an SRF (Slow Reaction Force). An Apache cant indiscriminately mow down all the village huts in question. Thats why SOF guys need to rappel from an MH-47. Its not the movies. We have rules to live by.

      August 11, 2011 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sindee

    The President is showing his respect.
    What would you have him do? Flip them off? I'd like to flip YOU off, Ddbie.

    August 11, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
  7. fernace

    I can't understand the hypocracy spouted on these posts! During the last administration, (which was responsible for sending these soldiers into combat), we got no pictures, no names, no background stories, no sense that war was even going on! According to Bush Iraquis were throwing flowers at our feet! Americans were angry that we couldn't even see a picture of a flag covered casket, so we could honor our military! Now, with this administration we Are getting what we asked for 4 years ago, but this is no good either! Now people are calling the president a media hound & putting soldiers & their families at risk from the insurgents! What do people want!? Do they even know?? God bless our troops & bring them home asap!!

    August 11, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • mommathu

      I couldn't have said this better! God Bless Our Troops!

      August 11, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • stephen douglas

      The press should have published names and ranks only. This is waaaaay too much information to put out about the backgrounds of our special forces, I believe. But, that is what we do – from one extreme to the other – from no information about our service members who were KIA, to this whole history.

      Names and ranks would be sufficient.

      August 11, 2011 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • JCreliever

      Good post !! They don't know what they want, all they do is want. For free with someone else picking up the tab for their freedom to be an a$$

      August 11, 2011 at 7:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Airborne6

    For love of country they accepted death...
    The brave die never, though they sleep in dust:
    Their courage nerves a thousand living men.

    FortBragg, NC.

    August 11, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      They're not victims!!!! They're heros. Look at all the decorations. Bronze stars, commendation medals. Those men we're so brave, and I pray for their families every night, and that they know this, and move on and find peace. These men are the cream of the crop of the country better than any doctor, CEO pharmacist, lawyer. The most disciplined , headstrong men you could ever meet. They're not elitests, they are humble protectors and heros who have a stronger moral compass the majority of citizens. May they rest in peace.

      August 11, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Perhaps not everyone respects President Obama, but please have some respect for our fallen military soldiers.
    This is not the place for political bickering.

    My sympathy to the families.
    I am sorry for your loss.

    August 11, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John

    What these men sacrificed, many will never appreciate. May their souls RIP and may their families remain strong throughout this struggle.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. griff-griff

    They gave all they had for freedom. Bless their families, especially the ones who will give birth to children who will have nothing of their fathers but stories of their bravery and dedication to this country. Their death will always be one of dignity, honor and respect. As a retired Airman, I salute you all. May God hold a special place in Heaven for you.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Engineer101

      They gave all they had for OUR freedom. Days in the cold surf, months away from home, these men were all heroes of the highest order. To these men and their families thank you for your sacrifice, although we may never know the true extent of your service, we all know you were great Americans.

      August 11, 2011 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
  12. traceyh4

    Wendell said it best. Much love, appreciation, and gratefulness to all military past, present and future. God Bless.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. mike a grown man with a strong distaste for politics and government. I never show much emotion in front of others...but as I sit in my office this evening by myself I cry while reading this. This is our generations in Vietnam...and the sad part is my generation is too worried about twitter and Facebook to stand up to money hungry, politically motivated war mongers and tell them f- you...we are not going to stand around and watch our brothers, our classmates....our friends die in vein anymore. I hate what my country has become. A bunch of apathetic losers who want their government to take care of them...and as long as they get their unemployment and welfare and tax breaks....they're voting. These are real people that are dying. Its not a joke. And PS- Obama said this would be over. Dont make me wish I voted for the old guy.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alisha

      Very well said, Mike. I feel ashamed of the legacy our generation is leaving to our children. I think we'd be in much better shape and a better informed public if people spent as much time following current events and what their elected officials are doing as they do checking their android/I- phones for new email and following friends on the social networking sites. We need to start being more selective when choosing our elected officials and hold them fully accountable for their actions.

      August 11, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Mike

    These were some very brave men. But what I don't understand is, after reading the above is, why are they so old? Most in their mid to later 30's.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • MMeans

      Operators at this level have been training for a number of years. Considering some were ST6, if they entered at 18, they then went to basic, then an additional 2+ years of SEAL training, then on again to further training. I know people think that the Spec Ops community is made up of 22 year olds, but the real operators are normally a bit older. You find the younger guys as Rangers and Airborne, they then normallly move on to other units, and that training continues for years. From the descriptions and ages, and number of ST6 guys, these were some of America's top combat soliders, and I mean in the top 2%, and they were highly experienced. That's why so many were "old" (in their 30's).

      August 11, 2011 at 6:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jimmy

    Every one of those SEALs had blood on his hands and every one of them knew that some day their number might come up. This is a war, you invade a someone's country and they will try to kill you. If a foreign helicopter was flying foreign troops over my neighborhood I'd have attempted the same thing.

    August 11, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan

      you don't even know how to operate an rpg. shut up you idiot and go enjoy your early morning coffee.

      August 11, 2011 at 5:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • MMeans

      Maybe you should head over to Cali or Virginia and spout that crap off to one of the local SEALs. Fact is, it's very likely the shooter was a foreign fighter you idiot.

      August 11, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • BWig

      Hey Jimmy – why don't you get on a Greyhound bus and go to the Creek (where most of my SEAL/EOD buddies came from) and repeat what you just said here...maybe you'd actually turn tail and run, whimpering back to the rock you crawled out from under. You'll never know the honor these men knew.

      August 11, 2011 at 7:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kana

      The US did not invade Afghanistan. Maybe you're to young or migrant to recall a certain incident in 2001 when terrorists trained and operating from Afghanistan hijacked and flew four airliners into the World Trade Center towers, the Pentagon, and a field in shanksville, Pa.on September 11th.
      The US declared a war on terrorist and went hunting for those behind the terrorist attacks on the US. Unfortunately we got sidetracked in Iraq and lost focus of the original objective. Terrorists are not the peace loving, freedom striving people you may think. Their objective is controlling and abusing people for their own purposes and will not stop at the Afghan border as most informed people already know.
      Although we may reduce the number of terrorists in Afghanistan, they have been setting up camp in other unstable countries around the world.
      So while the US armed forces are fighting for freedom not only for US citizens but for others, you can go back to enjoying your unearned right to disparage those protecting you.

      August 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
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