Because They Stand on a Wall...

and say, "Nothing’s going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch." That is my favorite line from "A Few Good Men" as spoken by LCDR Galloway who is played by Demi Moore. And today, I want to explain why it matters that THEY--our soldiers--stand on that "wall". Why THEY matter. 

On Saturday, August 6, the most devastating loss of American lives occurred in a crash in Afghanistan during a mission to rescue other soldiers. Since the initial story ran, many have come forward to talk about their loved ones. Thirty American soldiers were killed (and eight Afghani soldiers). Seventeen of them were Navy SEALs from the Elite and secretive SEAL Team Six. Five of them were aircrew on the Army Chinook that was used to transport them to a point in the Wardak province where they were to assist twenty-two Army Rangers who were pinned down by Taliban insurgents. And the eight other American soldiers killed in action were a mix of Navy and Air Force special forces. It sounds like the beginnings of a good action movie. Unfortunately, it ends with pure tragedy.

In the days following this loss of life, family members have come forward to talk about their lost sons, husbands, and fathers. The devotion to God and country of these men is to be commended. Freedom has never come without cost. They are the reason that the saying goes, "All gave some, but some gave all." Between an article in the Army Times and others I have read in the last few days, I have compiled a list of the names of those lost. I ask that each of you pray for their families and know that whatever we endeavor to do in this war or however we feel about having our troops in the Middle East, these men answered a call. Not just one to serve their country, but one to die if that should be the price of freedom; not only American freedom, but freedom at-large to protect America in our globalized world. Within the next 24 hours, the DoD has stated they will release all thirty names of our American soldiers, but until then, here is what I know:


Jonas Kelsall
Jason Workman
Robert Reeves
Michael Strange
Aaron Vaughn
Tommy Ratzlaff
Brian Bill
Kevin Houston

Matthew Mason
Nick Spehar
Jon Tumilson
Chris Campbell
Kraig Vickers

Army (Chinook Aircrew):
CWO2 (pilot) Bryan Nichols
CWO4 (pilot) David Carter
Sgt. Patrick Hamburger (crewchief)
Spc. Alexander Bennett (flight engineer & door gunner)
Spc. Spencer Duncan (door gunner)

Air Force:
Tech Sgt. John W. Brown (medic)
Daniel Zerbe

May they rest in peace. May their families find solace in the choice that their sons made to protect and serve, to stand on the wall  and say, "Nothing’s going to hurt you tonight. Not on my watch." 


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