The past few days have been hard for America. Particularly for our heroes.
On Saturday, August 6, 2011, 38 men died in the crash of an Army Reserve CH-47 Chinook helicopter that went down in Afghanistan. Members of the Olathe, KS Guard flew the helo. Twenty-five members of Seal Team Six were onboard, on a mission to help Army soldiers engaged in combat operations.
Seven of those on board were Afghan personnel; the others were the Army flight crew. A rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) brought down the helo as it passed through a valley enroute to the firefight.
Details of the event are still sketchy, but when searching for information over the Internet about what happened southwest of Kabul, the story turned out not to be of the shootdown—the story coming across the wires, airwaves, and Internet turned to the men in the helo.
The men on board the aircraft were fathers, brothers, sons, uncles, friends, and loved ones. As the news came to America, the media began interviewing the relatives of the fallen.
Throughout the stories, there was a common thread, as always. The communities, friends, and family of each man spoke reverently of their hero. There were football players, surfers, soccer teammates, boyfriends, best friends, and church members.
Those who made comment to the press said little of the mission, what happened, or of anything else. Friends and relatives were not concerned with how their lives ended; they spoke eloquently of how their sons and friends lived their lives.
In listening to them, we share in their grief. There is little question those lost were our best and finest. The losses were from all over; in addition to the losses from Kansas, Missouri lost a son, North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana, Virginia, and others. While their families cry for them, so do we, also. They fought the good fight and they have kept the faith.
Fair winds and following seas, shipmates.
©2011 J. Clark
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