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Battle of Takur Ghar

15 years ago today, my amazing husband was the platoon sergeant in charge of a 65 man Ranger strike force from 1st Ranger Battalion deployed to Afghanistan ?? in 2001. Chuck’s element due to circumstances beyond his control were split between the two largest bases in Afghanistan.

Early on the morning of the 4th the half of Chuck’s Platoon that were with the Platoon Leader at the other base were sent to a mountain top to rescue a Navy Seal unit pinned down in a fire fight. When Chuck’s guys got to the mountain, the SEALS had retreated, and only the enemy remained. They shot down their helicopter and killed three of Chuck’s guys. Marc Anderson, Brad Crose, and Matthew Commons were among the 7 Americans killed. Chuck’s youngest Son, Jack Matthew is named after Matt Commons.

Three books and a motion picture have been written about the event where chuck’s Rangers received the most valor medals for a group it’s size for a single action since the Vietnam war.

Chuck was forever scarred by this terrible event, the loss of life of his men, and the fact that he was not able to be with them during the battle. Today Chuck’s Platoon is having a 15 year reunion in Savannah, but due to his current trouble, he is unable to attend.

Please take a moment to reflect and remember the human cost of war today, Chuck’s Rangers, and my mourning husband as he struggles with the pain and emotions of recent events and this terrible anniversary.

Survivors of Chuck’s Platoon gearing up to fly home in April 2002. Chuck took this pic. The redhead was a crew chief on the helicopter that was shot down and Chuck said he was awarded the Silver Star for repeatedly running through machine gun fire to make trips to the helicopter for much needed weapons, ammo, and medical supplies

The memorial service for the Seven Americans Killed during the battle.

Two of Chuck’s NCO’s try to console Chuck’s grieving Platoon Leader. Chuck also took these pics. He refused to cry in front of his people and bottled it all up inside so his “strength” would set an example for his men who still had a job to do. He told me he finally broke down over a month later when he was home, driving in his car and the Garth Brooks song Ireland came on the radio.

-Mary Deschain

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