Thursday, July 21, 2005

The Found SEAL: Thoughts and a Chaplain's Reflections

The story of the SEALs from a few weeks ago is one that most will not forget. Froggy has some must-read info on what happened:

I spoke to several of this man’s Teammates in Hawaii, and it is interesting that he is a twin and his brother is a Frogman as well. Actually, each of the brothers has half of a Trident tattooed on their backs so that when they stand side by side, it forms one large Trident. When his brother was informed that the ONE was missing, he immediately knew that his brother was alive and evading. According to what I was told, it was not just hopeful speculation, but some of that twin brother mojo letting his brother know that he was still in the fight.

The story of this harrowing evasion will probably come out eventually, but while the account that I was unofficially given was not very specific, it is truly awe inspiring. After the 4 man SR was compromised and engaged, they called for the QRF and defended themselves from the large taliban hoard that was firing at them. At some point, two of the SR team members were shot and clearly KIA, one other was severely wounded, and he and the ONE continued to fight. I was told that the ONE dragged his critically wounded Teammate while the wounded man continued to fire at the enemy. Eventually, the pair received close incoming mortar fire and the ONE was “blown off the side of the mountain”.

After waking from unconsciousness, the ONE was once again being closed upon by enemy forces.

Go here for the rest.

For some thoughts from the chaplain involved, go to this must-read:

I woke up in a mental fog. I met up with a representative from the Navy SEALs in the morning. Iwas thinking we would begin to discuss the memorial for those who had died, instead I was taken without an invitation to another location. In just an hour, I would learn the full account and the fate of the other four Seals who were still on the ground.


I would spend the next three days caring for this young man who was rescued. He has a deep Catholic faith and a sense of honor that I have never seen so clearly. ...


My work was not only with this Navy SEAL, but to his family of brothers. I would move in with them on their compound--so that I could begin to help them talk through the great loss that they had endured. There would be yet another ramp ceremony for two more Seals whose bodies were found from that firefight of June 28th. This ceremony on July 5th, would be just as powerful and painful as the one four days before--death is never easy. I would also bear the hope of finding the fourth Seal alive--for his body was not found. I would witness the great reunion as the rescued SEAL would join his brothers for the first time since his rescue--it was July 4th. What an experience! Over 20 American Flags were flying on the compound as all his team members were gathered in the briefing room, and we saw a living witness of "freedom" walk through the briefing room door. My fire works for this Independence Day was watching the powerful bond of Sailors welcoming back a fellow shipmate from harms way. I don't think I will ever witness a more deeply felt emotion of pride and liberty as I did that night. I so wish I could bottle it so that every American could tangibly experience the blessings that we have. I would also learn to love these Sailors that I had the privilege to live among for the last two weeks. All members of the military are special, but to see the day-to-day life of these Navy SEALs first hand has been an awesome gift. We, as a country, are indeed fortunate to have such men willing to fight for our way of life. They are a silent service and don't often enjoy the lights of the media upon them--the very lights that have shown during these very difficult days.

Then go to this post for more of the chaplain's reflections on The One:

The men that I have had the honor to livewith during the past two weeks need a little TLC. The SEALs are a "silent service" like the entire SpecialForces--they don't get much recognition and their names and addresses are never published. These SEALs have gone through a lot here in Afghanistan and have lost 11 of their brothers which has never happened in their history. If you would like send them a care package, here is what they would "love" and how to get it to them. They request the following: Home made baked goods, Nacho chips, Salsa, candy bars, microwave popcorn, Starbucks or Dunkin Doughnuts Coffee, and an address to send a thank you. You can send your package to the following NavyRepresentative who will make sure they get the gift.

Mark Takla
Unit 3Sierrra
APO AE 09354

Also if you would please e-mail me at to let me know that you are going to send a package. So as not to overwhelm them they request only 50 to be sent--so when I take this message off the site you know the quota has been filled. I am sure I will have other opportunities to give so if you miss this one don't worry, remember I am here for a year.

Please send.

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