Please Remember the Brave Warriors KIA Aboard EXTORTION 17

This August 6 will mark the third year since the tragic shoot-down of the CH-47 Chinook helicopter, call sign EXTORTION 17, in Wardak Province, Tangi Valley, Afghanistan, killing all aboard as the helo attempted to land and insert a Quick Reaction Force to assist Army troops on the ground in contact with the enemy.

This remains the greatest single loss-of-life incident in the war in Afghanistan.  It is significant because of the number of highly trained special operations personnel who were aboard the aircraft.

One of the SEALs onboard that aircraft was our neighbor across the street.  He left behind a wife and two sons.  At the time of his death, his wife was in her sixth month of pregnancy with the daughter he never got to see.  He now lies at rest in Arlington National Cemetery along with his fellow warriors.  Not a day goes by that we do not think of him and those who died with him that day.

I am asking those of you who regularly frequent the American Thinker to help honor and remember these brave warriors and their sacrifice this and every August 6.  If you fly the flag in front of your home and/or business, please dress your flag for mourning as a sign of respect and remembrance for those KIA aboard EXTORTION 17.  Encourage your friends and neighbors to do so as well.

The pictures that accompany this post are in accordance with the Flag Code.

All three of these images are acceptable means of indicating mourning for the fallen who were killed in action that day aboard EXTORTION 17.  It is important that their valor and sacrifice not be forgotten.

Below is a picture of the sign that will be placed in my front yard from August 3 through August 9 as a tribute to those who so gallantly gave their lives that day.  The sign will be accompanied by 31 flags in formation – a flag for each of the 30 personnel killed and a flag for the U.S. military working dog that was onboard.  A votive flame will be lit and will burn during the hours of darkness.

Thank you for helping to keep the memory of these brave warriors alive in the minds of the American people.  To learn more about those who were on board EXTORTION 17, click here.  You'll find a photo of the 30 U.S. personnel killed in action that day as the helo made its approach to its landing zone.  Looking at the pictures will give you a sense of who these brave warriors were and why we should honor and remember their sacrifice each year.  Thank you.

Thom Moriarty is a daily reader and contributor to the discussions at the American Thinker.  He served for 24 years in the military; he is now retired and works as a contractor supporting military training.