Last Saturday morning 30 Americans were killed in eastern Afghanistan when insurgents shot down a U.S. military helicopter. The crash brought the death toll of coalition troops in Afghanistan to 365 for the year and 42 this month.
Among those killed Saturday were 22 Navy SEALs belonging to the same unit, though not part of the team, which killed Osama bin Laden a few months ago. Other Americans killed include three Air Force air controllers and a dog handler and his dog. A civilian interpreter and seven Afghan commandos were also killed.
Husbands, fathers, sons and friends -- these men had a love of country strong enough that they were willing to lay down their life so the freedoms we enjoy could be preserved. We're forever grateful to these individuals -- as well as the many who have gone before them -- and our prayers go out to the ones they leave behind.
As you go about your day and see members of the Armed Forces from both past and present wars, take a moment to thank these individuals. While many of us will never know the terror each faced, we can show our appreciation for them with a simple thank you.