Navy SEAL Killed In Afghanistan
By: John Hampton
On Wednesday December 5th, Dilip Joseph (an American working in Afghanistan) and two of his Afghan colleagues, were abducted by gunmen while returning from a rural medical clinic near the capitol city of Kabul. From there, the group was reportedly taken to an area approximately 50 miles from the Pakistan border.
Officials from the International Security Assistance Force said that Taliban insurgents were responsible for the abductions, and tribal leaders identified the gunmen as smugglers.
Mr. Dilip is employed by an agency called Morning Star Development. Morning Star Development is a non-profit community and economic development organization committed to helping the people of Afghanistan rebuild their country and their lives by offering practical hope and resources.
In the early morning hours of December 8th, Dilip’s co-workers were released, but his ordeal continued. Obviously, the life of anyone being held against their will by gunmen is in jeopardy. But to make matters worse, Dilip’s proximity to Pakistan caused NATO officials to fear that if he were moved there, a rescue attempt would be that much more difficult and hazardous.
So, a mission to free Mr. Dilip from his captors was planned and organized. And who else but members of the Navy’s Special Warfare Development Group (aka Seal Team Six) would be more qualified to execute that mission? It was this same unit that carried out the raid on the compound of Osama bin Laden.
On December 8th, Seal Team Six began its mission. U.S. officials provided few details about the rescue effort, but Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said the SEALs “knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy’s grip.”
Dilip was successfully wrested from his assailants by Seal Team Six, and should be returning soon to his family in Colorado. That is the good news. But tragically, a member of the Team was wounded during the mission, and later died.
On Monday, the U.S. Defense Department identified the SEAL as Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Checque. Nicolas was a Pennsylvania native. He was 28 years old and had served in the Navy for 10 years. Nicolas had been a SEAL since 2004. The Bronze Star, awarded for bravery in combat, was included in his personal decorations.
Although a mournful occasion, this is yet another shining example of the selflessness, devotion to duty and willingness to sacrifice – even in the most pernicious of environments – displayed by members of the U.S. Military. I offer my most sincere condolences to the Checque family. But at the same time, I thank God that men like Nicolas serve our great Nation. Let us all remember Nicolas and his family in our prayers.
John Hampton lives in Tehachapi CA and is quite concerned about the policies and motives of the current Administration. He believes in a system that holds our freedoms sacred, promotes personal responsibility, prudence and high moral standards.