Tuesday, March 25, 2003
Our brave troops

I somehow missed this story, as it was buried under all the Iraq war news with which we've been inundated for the past week:

U.S. Copter Crash in Afghanistan Kills 6

BAGRAM, Afghanistan - A U.S. Air Force helicopter on a mercy mission to help two injured Afghan children crashed in southeastern Afghanistan, killing all six people on board, the U.S. military said Monday.

The HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopter from the 41st Rescue Squadron at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia was on its way late Sunday to pick up the children, who had suffered injuries to the head, said Army spokesman Col. Roger King said. There were thunderstorms in the area at the time, he said.

"You think about the sacrifice these guys made, especially in this case where you've got military personnel who are conducting a flight that's basically a humanitarian mission," King added. "They're trying to go out and save some Afghan kid's life — it's wrenching."

Our military does so much more than conduct war missions. Much, much more. Our government does a terrible PR job in getting all the wonderful humanitarian deeds of our armed forces into the news, in front of Americans and the world. And they risk their lives every single day on these missions.

I won't let their story remain buried under other news. So I personally want to thank these American servicemen and women who gave their lives to help the helpless. This is what America is all about, this is what we stand for. You have the gratitude of the world. God bless.

1st Lt. Tamara Archuleta, 23, of Los Lunas, N.M.

Staff Sgt. Jason Hicks, 25, of Jefferson, S.C.

Master Sgt. Michael Maltz, 42, of St. Petersburg, Fla.

Senior Airman Jason Plite, 21, of Lansing, Mich.

Lt. Col. John Stein, 39, of Bardolph, Ill.

Staff Sgt. John Teal, 29, of Dallas, Tx.

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