Open Thread, Memorial Day 27 May 2013

Memorial-Day

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About GruntOfMonteCristo

Fearless and Devout Catholic Christian First, Loving Husband and Father Second, Pissed-Off Patriot Third, Rocket Engineer Dork Last.
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14 Responses to Open Thread, Memorial Day 27 May 2013

  1. In our part of the Rocky Mountain front range, we’re surrounded by military bases. Even, perhaps unexpectedly, by Navy folks. This morning we were honored at our Memorial Day service to have Rear Admiral Brett C. Heimbigner, USN, speak. The Admiral is currently director of Intelligence at NORAD, but until recently he’s spent a great deal of time in the Middle East. He shared some stories from Afghanistan, mostly about the SEAL teams operating there and their tragic losses and heroic successes. It was an honor to hear this man speak, for the first time publicly, about the friends he’d lost over the last 10 years. Though several books about the more tragic missions have been published for some time, he has only this year been able to bear to read some of them.

    One story, in particular stood out for me. He spoke of a rescue mission that ended in tragedy years before the Chinook crash in August 2011 that killed 22 Navy SEALs. This one also involved a helicopter shot down by Taliban RPGs killing over a dozen special operators who had eagerly volunteered just minutes before to attempt to rescue a single SEAL who was pinned down by Taliban fighters in the mountains. The admiral’s good friend, (I believe it was Steve Wright) who was putting together the rescue op, inserted himself as commander rather than assign anyone else, since the flight was in broad daylight and had a slim chance of success. The way these men were champing at the bit to get into harm’s way to rescue another operator strongly reminded me of the accounts of the responders in Tripoli and Italy who were preparing to rescue Ambassador Stevens from Benghazi. I’m in awe of these men. When I hear these stories I can only wish that our civilian leadership would attempt to have a tiny fraction of the honor and integrity that our fighting men and women have.

    • barnslayer says:

      Amazing story!

    • Good story, Coyote. Thanks. I didn’t realize how much I miss Air & Space magazine until I watched that video. I got it for years but recently dropped it to save money. My favorite part of it was the monthly air combat accounts of F-105, F-86 or F-4 Phantom missions over Vietnam or other conflicts. Sometimes they were just short anecdotes in the letters section from some old flight crew guy with a story to tell that’s never been in any book. Good stuff. I miss that, especially now that my old man is gone. Maybe I should pay up my subscription.

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