Honor, courage, commitment to mission, resolve, unspeakable sacrifice and limitless love are among the many words now being used to remember six fallen Green Berets who have given their lives in recent days.
At the same time, members of the U.S. Special Forces’ community recognize that there are almost no words able to fully capture the power and somewhat indescribable feeling of love emerging upon reflection upon those lost in service.
While physical lives of cherished Green Berets may have been lost, their service, love of country and devotion to family emerge as transcendent forces now being experienced by those who honor their memory.
Green Berets' resolve to maintain intense focus on their mission, despite whatever setbacks may occur, is unwavering. At the same time, those units mourn and remember their fallen brothers.
“Green Berets fight on for their brothers. They don’t’ seek glory. The regiment takes hit after hit, pauses to honor its fallen, but then drives on. Fallen brothers are never forgotten,” Maj. Gen. David Morris (Ret), Chairman of the Board of the Green Beret Foundation, said.
As one might expect, the Green Beret Foundation is now intensely involved in supporting friends and family members of the deceased.
Two Green Berets were killed in an Afghanistan firefight, three while entering a Jordanian military base and another off the Florida coast in a dive training accident, according to Defense Department releases cited in the Army Times.
Known as the “Quiet Professionals,” Green Berets are often reluctant to discuss their missions and sacrifices, yet the recent concentration of loses does underscore the intensity of their operations and deployment rates,
“The recent casualties within the US Army Special Forces Regiment in a very short time period lend emphasis to the point that the Green Berets are the only Unconventional Warfare force in the United States inventory, and as such, are deployed at a highly disproportionate rate compared to other units,” Morris explained.
Morris went on reflect that the high deployment rates mean repeated exposure to combat rissk and higher casualty rates per capita than any portion of the US military.
Capt. Andrew Byers, 30, and Sgt. 1st Class Ryan Gloyer, 34, were killed Thursday in Kunduz, Afghanistan, along with 26 civilians and three Afghan soldiers. Four other American troops were wounded.
The Defense Department has also recently announced that Staff Sgts. Matthew Lewellen, 27, Kevin McEnroe,30, and James Moriarty, 30, lost their lives after being fired on in Jordan, where the U.S. keeps about 2,000 troops on the ground to support local military training.
Staff Sgt. David Whitcher, 30, of 1st Special Warfare Training Group died during a dive training exercise. Whitcher was in the Combat Diver Qualification Course and assigned to C Company, 2nd Battalion, 1st Special Warfare Training Group.
"It's very dark for the community," Jen Paquette, executive director of the Green Beret Foundation, told the Army Times.
Famous 19th Century English Poet William Wordsworth, known for identifying and celebrating a timeless spirit of love and beauty in his poetry, referred to those leaving the physical earth as people who become an ever-present “a living soul.”
Many believe the presence, love and impact of those Green Berets who gave their lives, is eternal.
“The brotherhood of the Green Berets stands for freedom,” Morris said.
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