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Remember the Men of Extortion 17

I can’t believe it’s been three years since I heard the news about the crash of Extortion 17, a US Army CH-47 carrying 38 souls: 17 US Navy SEALs, 5 NSW Fleet Techs, 2 USAF Pararescumen, 1 USAF Combat Controller, 5 US Army National Guard and Army Reserve Aviators, 7 Afghan Commandos, and 1 Afghan interpreter. Also on board was a single NSW Working Dog.


I live in Virginia’s Tidewater which was home port for many of those men. I’m not sure the town will ever really get over the tragedy. There are a lot of families, friends, and teammates who bear the loss every day. Only one day a year everyone else thinks about these men and their sacrifice. I think that’s selfish. I don’t expect you to think of them everyday unless they were yours, but don’t make their passing into something any more special than any other death. This obsession has trivialized their passing as much as it does every other death. Each and every loss has meaning and every loss is mourned. I challenge you to look past this one day a year and this group of men. By all means, remember the Men of Extortion 17 and then recognize the sacrifice of all of our fallen.


11 Responses to “Remember the Men of Extortion 17”

  1. Will says:

    I challenge you to draw up a warm bath and use a razor to cut a vein so we can remember you…. Asshole

    • JayfromVA says:

      If you knew his history, you would know that no disrespect is intended. It seems to be more a commentary that people are drawn to mass events, such as the loss of life from Extortion 17. But really, every soldier who dies, whether a DEVGRU operator or a brand new buck private who’s on their first tour, leaves behind a family and brothers in arms that grieve for them. Certainly, honor the men of Extortion 17 or Operation Red Wings or any other major loss, but don’t forget all of the men and women who died – over 6,000 since 9/11. They all earned your remembrance.

    • SSD says:

      It’s ok, you’re one of the people I’m talking about.

  2. SubandSand says:

    I think what you’re trying to say is to remember Extortion 17 but remember all the fallen with them. I had to read it multiple times and because of the way it was worded it didn’t sit right.

  3. AlexC says:

    A loss of a fellow soldier does not have to happen during a memorable event in order to remember it. Focusing only on events to the neglect of others who also lost their lives is not a good practice.

    I think what SSD is trying to say (and correct me if I am wrong) is that unless you knew the men who died on Extortion 17 there isn’t really a reason to ‘jump on the bandwagon of grief’.

    Instead take a moment to remember those that you knew that are gone.

    Every loss of life matters, both those that died in ones and twos and those that did as groups.

    We shall remember them.


  4. cj says:

    this was a very bad day in a very bad year. This happened not too far from us while i was deployed.

    Then in October we had the rhino bus get hit very, very close to home.

    I know what you’re trying to say, SSD, its natural to get drawn to the large singular events, but i agree, i remember my guys every day, but i try to keep them all in mind as often as i can as i live my life.

  5. James says:

    There were two Navy EOD techs onboard.

  6. Rojo says:

    Simplifed Message: Use this post to have a beer with your brothers, to remember your brothers that are no longer with us

  7. Bill says:

    A hundred years ago we were starting into a war that killed 2% of the entire world’s population. Near 50,000 troops were killed in 3 days at Gettysburg. US deaths on D-Day almost match all those lost in Iraq. I see exactly where the writer is coming from: it’s all a matter of perspective. Any dead soldier is one too many to someone, but in the big picture, these have indeed been “small wars.”

    What’s really nauseating are the “unnecessary” deaths: training accidents, on-base car crashes, stupid human tricks, human factors failures and so forth

  8. Ron says:

    R.I.P to everyone involved. On a personal note, Dan Zerbe, John Brown and Andy Harvel (2 Pj’s and CCT mentioned) Were friends of mine (or known to me in the case of the Pj’s) and were celebrated today with memorial pushups. RIP Brothers.