Thirty–one. On August 6, 2011, while on mission to assist members of the 75th Ranger Regiment (who were engaged in a fierce firefight at the time), thirty–one members of the United States Armed Forces were shot down in Afghanistan's Wardak province.
Among those who fell were Air Force Special Operations personnel, Naval SOF personnel and one military working dog. That day marked the single largest loss of U.S. Special Operations personnel in a 24-hour period. The upcoming tenth issue of the NRA American Warrior digital magazine looks at that day.
(As a side note, twenty of the Naval lives lost that day were members of SEAL Team Six — the same SEAL Team that killed Osama Bin Laden a few months earlier at a private residential compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan)
Actually they look at more then that day. For after the tragedy, a group of people came together to share. To share their loss, their stories and their love of motorcycles. Known as the Extortion 17 Memorial Ride (Extortion 17 was the mission's call sign), the group gathered in Virginia Beach, Virginia earlier this August to do just that.
"This ride, seeing how big it's actually become," said on participant. "It's brought together so many different walks of life. People who know these men, never would have known, never would have heard these stories. So it's great to have something like this going on. To bring people together to share these stories."
In the upcoming edition of American Warrior Magazine, you find more about Extortion 17 and those who take the time to honor their sacrifice.