Extortion 17…….

Today marks the anniversary of the worst loss of life in the illustrious history of the United States Special Operations Community. In fact, it represented the single greatest loss of life in the 24 year history of the U.S. Special Operations Command.

On August 6th, 2011 a CH-47 Chinook, call sign ‘Extortion 17’ was responding to reinforce a group of Army Rangers who were in contact with a Taliban force in the Wardak Province of Afghanistan. While nearing the objective, Extortion 17 was struck by a rocket propelled grenade (RPG) causing it to crash. The crash killed all who were on board..

31 American heroes lost their life that night. There were 25 Special Operations Personnel, 5 Army National Guard / Reserve Crewmen, and 1 military working dog.  Also on board were 7 Afghan Commandos and an Afghan interpreter.  (More details available here…). It was a difficult day for America.

Most of these Americans killed were Navy SEALs or Special Operations Support Personnel from Naval Special Warfare Development Group (formerly known as SEAL Team 6). This was the same unit that was given credit for the daring raid into Pakistan just months earlier which resulted in the killing of Al Qaeda’s leader, Osama Bin Laden.

These brave men gave it all that night while we were sleeping silently in our beds or parked in front of the couch watching our TV. They would ask for nothing in return if given the opportunity to even ask.

Today, we ask that you remember these men. They were our team mates, our brothers. Honor their sacrifice by remembering what they did. Honor their sacrifice by thinking about the people they left behind. Their surviving spouses, children, family and friends. Here is a link to a short video that EVERY AMERICAN needs to see…….. It’s a stark reminder that these heroes left loved ones behind. Many more have left loved ones behind as well….

(video courtesy of NRA Life of Duty)



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