Find the cost of freedom
Buried in the ground
Mother Earth will swallow
Lay your body down
Chief Petty Officer Robert Reeves, 32, (left ) and his best friend, Lt. Commander Jonas Kelsall, 33, died together when their special operations chopper was shot down by Afghan insurgents Saturday in eastern Afghanistan. Classmates in Shreveport, La., both became SEALs and were on the ill-fated mission to back up an Army Ranger unit caught in an ambush. The cash site was in Tangi Joy Zarin area of Wardak province, about 60 miles southwest of Kabul.
Reeves earned four Bronze Stars for Valor since enlisting in 1999, and Kelsall was the commander of the successful initial reinforcement mission.
In all 30 US troops were killed when the twin-bladed Chinook chopper was hit by an RPG as it departed the area; SEAL Team “Six” lost 22 members, five Army air crewmen, two Air Force special operators forces and an Air Force paramedic. Seven Afghan commandos and a civilian interpreter were also killed in the deadliest US special operations mission in history.
Amid this poignant and crushing loss of so many of America’s finest, I believe we would do well to honor their memory by observing a few notes of caution.
- First, this does not even slightly suggest the “need” to reconsider our strategy or tactics; SOCOM (Special Operations Command) is as free from bureaucratic bungling by the “regular” military as possible. These mission are designed from the ground up… not at the Pentagon by paper shufflers. Operation Red Wing was a bad day too.
- Secondly, we already know far too much about our SOCOM and its members. Jackass Joe Biden was first to identify the so-called SEAL Team Six as the unit responsible for canceling bin Laden’s ticket and politicians (primarily Obama) swarmed to publicly bask in the elite unit’s mission. SEALS, their families and the boots-on-the-ground military agree that information about spec ops should be cut down to the occasional brief press release.
- Because of all the media coverage, this will be remembered as the SEAL mission when there were other sailors, soldiers and airmen involved as well.
- The MSM is dutifully reporting (quoting enemy claims and Paki BS) that this was an “elaborate” ambush designed and carried out by some raghead military genius who lured the team in, and all that bodes ill for our mission in Afghanistan…. BULL. (A less important but still annoying tendency is for the media to call this a “crash”… no, it was a shoot-down; and military people are killed in action and wounded, not “injured”.)
May God rest these fine men, comfort their families and friends, and may their names serve as a blessing.
Casualty list (current as of post time)
John W Brown –USAF Tech Sgt Pararescueman Medic
Jon Tumilson SEAL
Chris Campbell SEAL
Michael Strange SEAL Petty Officer First Class
Tommy Ratzlaff SEAL
Jason Workman Petty Officer First Class SEAL
Nick Spehar SEAL
Derek Benson SEAL
Alexander Bennett Army Specialist Flight Mechanic
Bryan Nichols Chief Warrant Officer 2 Pilot
Dan Zerbe Staff Sergeant AF Pararescue Medic
Lou Langlais SEAL
John Douangdara SEAL Lead Dog Handler and his dog
Jesse Pittman SEAL
Heath Robinson SEAL