Sunday, September 14, 2008

Two More Counterterror SEALs Die in Afghanistan

Rest in Peace. You are True Heroes. Semper Fi.

I'll see you soon and buy you a beer.


Counterterrorism Blog: Two More Counterterror SEALs Die in Afghanistan: "Two more Navy SEALs from an extraordinarily elite and supersecret counterterrorism unit have been killed in Afghanistan, following the death two weeks ago of a SEAL from the same clandestine unit.

Details were - not surprisingly - vague. There is no direct evidence they died fighting in the new CIA-led offensive against Al Qaeda and the Taliban along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. But their loss in Afghanistan is certainly significant and a real blow to their fellow operators in the Joint Special Operations Command, which includes the Army’s Delta Force.

The two SEALs were killed September 11 somewhere “in Afghanistan,” according to military press releases, and were part of the shadowy Naval Special Warfare Development Group, the elite counterterrorism force once known as SEAL Team 6. Typically, the military identifies which Afghan town, district, city or province where American troops perish. But for the third time since August 30, when Petty Officer 1st Class Joshua Thomas Harris, a Bronze Star recipient, was reported killed after being swept away during a combat river crossing, the precise location of the latest “DEVGRU” combat casualties is unknown.

Killed last week were Senior Chief Special Warfare Operator John Wayne Marcum, 34, and Chief (select) Special Warfare Operator Jason Richard Freiwald, 30, the Navy said. Each man had served in Iraq and Afghanistan and was a highly decorated SEAL. Before Harris, no DEVGRU SEAL had fallen in Afghanistan since March 2002, according to a review of Operation Enduring Freedom deaths at iCasualties.org.

Marcum earned four Bronze Star medals with the combat “V” distinguishing device, as well as the Joint Service Commendation medal, four Combat Action ribbons and a chestful of other decorations in his career. The younger Freiwald had also earned a Bronze Star and Combat Action ribbon, the Navy said.

Sadly, both SEALs leave behind a wife and daughter. The Naval Special Warfare Foundation, which accepts donations, will likely provide support for each family."

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