The U.S. Army defines their Special Forces, also referred to as the legendary Green Berets as a “unique, unconventional, combat arms organization … they are the most versatile Special Operations soldiers in the world.”
Green Berets are further defined as the “elite, multi-purpose force for high priority operational targets of strategic importance. Their lineage dates back to more than 200 years of unconventional warfare history, with notable predecessors including the Revolutionary War Swamp Fox Francis Marion, the WWII OSS Jedbourg Teams and Detachment 101 in Burma, as well as the Alamo Scouts. Since their establishment in 1952, they have distinguished themselves in Vietnam (17 Medals of Honor), El Salvador, Panama, Desert Shield/Storm, Haiti, Somalia, Bosnia, and Kosovo. Most recently, Green Berets have played a critical role in destroying Taliban/al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, rooting out insurgents in Iraq, training foreign troops to fight terrorists or drug warlords, and crossing the globe to liberate the oppressed.”
Fallen Green Berets
On Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, the dangers of service to America as a Green Beret were crystallized in a tragic incident.
An ambush in the northwest African country of Niger left four Green Berets dead and two wounded.
According to published reports, a team of Green Berets had just completed a meeting with local leaders. While returning to their unarmed vehicles, they were ambushed by some 50 ISIS fighters using small arms, machine-guns, and rocket-propelled grenades.
U.S. Army Chief of Staff, Gen. Mark Miley, spoke to reporters during the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting in Washington D.C. after the attack. Miley stated, “We are training, advising, and assisting indigenous armies all over the world. And I anticipate and expect that will increase and not decrease … it is a dangerous mission.”
According to the Military Times website honoring the fallen, the Green Berets who died during this U.S. Africa Command Operations were all assigned to the 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
These America heroes who have offered the ultimate sacrifice in service of our nation are as follows:
Army Staff Sgt. La David T. Johnson—25 years-old, of Miami Gardens, Florida. Johnson’s awards and decorations include the Army Achievement Medal, the Army Good Conduct Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Medal, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Parachutist Badge, the Army Air Assault Badge, the Driver and Mechanic Badge, and the Marksmanship Qualification Badge—Sharpshooter with Rifle. He was the youngest of those killed. According to a news report, Johnson was “a gym and church regular who believed in hard work. Aside from his love of cycling, his friends also remembered his love of cars and his commitment to being a reliable father and husband. He even tattooed his wife’s name on his chest.”
Army Staff Sgt. Byran C. Black—35 years-old of Puyallup, Washington. Black served as a Special Forces medical sergeant and was a recipient of the Ranger Tab and Special Forces Tab. In a local news report from his hometown, a neighbor in the Stonegate neighborhood of Puyallup, Whitney Kamel, spoke of Black’s family. Kamel said, “what an honor it is to live across the street from them. As American’s we need to thank everyone of these people every single day.”
Army Staff Sgt. Jeremiah W. Johnson—39-years old of Springboro, Ohio. Johnson served as a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Specialist, enlisting in October, 2007. He leaves behind a wife and two daughters and is described by friends and family as a rock-solid American patriot with a great heart.
Army Staff Sgt. Dustin M. Wright—29 years-old of Lyons, Georgia, a Special Forces engineer sergeant who enlisted in July, 2012. Wright was a recipient of the Special Forces Tab. His Aunt Ginger Russell commenting on his powerful physical strength said, “I’m sure that’s why he had to grow up to be so big because his body couldn’t hold the heart he had.” His cousin, Jada Davis said, “He’s our own personal American hero. And he died for our country.”
America must eternally honor the fallen who have offered the ultimate sacrifice for our nation.
The sacrifices, along with those of all Gold Star Families who have lost loved ones, are the pillars of America’s freedom, democracy, and way of life.
As detailed in these immortal words of “America the Beautiful,” may the sacrifices of all who have died for our nation, be forever seared into our souls:
“O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife,
Who more then self their country loved
And mercy more than life!”
Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.
Vincent J. Bove, CPP, is a national speaker and author on issues critical to America. Bove is a recipient of the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for combating crime and violence and is a former confidant of the New York Yankees. His newest book is “Listen to Their Cries.” For more information, see www.vincentbove.com