It was dangerous. Men were already engaged in intense fighting. Outnumbered. The element of surprise was gone. Lt. Commander Erik S. Kristensen lead his SEALs on a fateful rescue attempt anyways. Knowing full well the danger, and the chances of coming home alive were slim, but he had men in contact who were outgunned. So he went. He led from the front.Afghanistan is not the most hospital or friendly of places. Well, at least not since the Taliban had taken over. SEALs Lt. Michael Murphy, PO2 Danny Dietz, PO2 Matthew Axelson, HM1 Marcus Luttrell had been discovered by the forces of local Taliban/anti-coalition warlord Ahmad Shah. The SEALs were outnumbered. There were four of them against a large force of fighters who knew the terrain. Lt. Commander Kristensen heard the distress call and set out with many others as a quick reaction force aboard the MH-47 Chinook helicopter.Much like Lt. Michael Murphy, who exposed himself to enemy fire in order to send the distress call, Erik had to know that there was a large chance that he was not coming back from this mission. It didn't seem to matter to him. Or the rest of the SEALs and pilots who were now en route to lend more gunfighters to the battle.The rule of gunfighting states that you should not only bring a gun but bring all of your friends who have guns too. Make a wall of lead and wipe the enemy from the face of this terrestrial plane. That's what Erik S. Kristensen and his fellow SEALs were going to do.
However, their helicopter would be struck by an RPG, and everyone on board would be killed. It was the single worst day for Naval Special Operations. Their sacrifice...while it is only right and proper to mourn their passing, we are grateful that their example lives on. They will not be forgotten and the lessons they taught will not be ignored.We are grateful that men like these set the standard for loyalty and faithfulness. The law of the battlefield must be upheld.For his actions, that day Lt. Commander Erik S. Kristensen was awarded the Bronze Star with V device.
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