The US Special Forces Who Avenged 9-11 on Horseback Need Your Help

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America’s initial military response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 sent American Special Operations Forces secretly into Afghanistan. Today they need your help.
America’s initial military response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 sent American Special Operations Forces secretly into Afghanistan. Today they need your help.

The efforts to raise funds for the Special Forces team members and families to attend the dedication ceremony at Ground Zero has raised over $5,000 to date. If you hadn’t had a chance yet – go to the link and read the story behind the monument and the actions of a few Green Berets.

Before 9/11, the last time American forces fought on horseback was on January 16, 1942 when the U.S. Army’s 26th Cavalry Regiment charged an advanced guard of the 14th Japanese Army as it advanced from Manila.

US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on HorsebackPhilippines! F*ck Yeah!

After the terror attacks of Sep. 11, 2001, the United States demanded the extradition of Osama bin Laden from the Taliban, then the recognized government of Afghanistan. When the Taliban didn’t cough him up, the U.S. military went to work.

Official combat operations started on Oct. 7, 2001 in the form of airstrikes and Tomahawk missile strikes against suspected al-Qaeda training sites near Kandahar, Kabul, and Herat. On Nov. 16, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld announced “we have had limited number of American forces on the ground for weeks.” He was talking about the Horse Soldiers, U.S. Special Forces attempting to secure Northern Afghanistan with the Afghan Northern Alliance.

The elite troops were there to connect with and advise the Northern Alliance fighters who had been fighting the Taliban government since 1996. They were just in time. On Sep. 9, 2001 al Qaeda operatives assassinated Ahmad Shah Massoud, the longtime resistance fighter, who led wars against the Soviet Union and later, the Taliban. (Massoud even tried to warn Western leaders about the 9/11 attacks.) He rejected the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islam and was the able political and military leader of the Northern Alliance. When the Americans arrived the Alliance fighters were ready to avenge Massoud. The only way to get around the country was on horseback.

For some of the American commandos, it was their first time on a horse.  “It was like riding a bobcat,” Lt. Col. Max Bowers (Ret.) told CNN.

Sgt. 1st Class Joe Jung, the team’s medic and sniper, was thrown from his horse, broke his back, and continued with the mission. “I would not allow myself to be the weak link,” Jung said. “It’s not in my nature, and it’s not in any Green Beret’s nature.”

Bowers carried a piece of the World Trade Center during the entire mission and months later, buried it with full military honors at Mazar-e Sharif.

The commandos’ horses were trained by the Northern Alliance warriors to run toward gunfire. Charges pitting Alliance forces against the Taliban were much like those centuries ago, but the fighters used AK-47s instead of sabers.

Air Force Combat Controller Master Sgt. Bart Decker used laser-guided airstrikes to support Alliance forces. Abdul Rashid Dostum, leader of Alliance forces, referred to one of the female navigators on an AC-130 gunship providing close air support as the “Angel of Death.”

Bart Decker Air Force Combat Controller Afghanistan Green Beret Horse Soldiers
US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback

During the Battle of Mazar-e Sharif, Jung treated Taliban fighters. The special forces let one go, allowing him to tell other Taliban fighters he was treated humanely and they would be too. This led to mass surrender after the battle. After Mazar-e Sharif, Jung heard an odd accent among the wounded at a prison camp.

That voice came from John Walker Lindh, the infamous “American Taliban.” The Taliban POWs would later rise up against their captors, capturing the arsenal at Mazar-e Sharif, killing CIA operator Mike Spann, the first casualty of American operations in Afghanistan.

It took two months for the Allied forces to defeat the Taliban government.

Kentucky sculptor Douwe Blumberg created a monument of the horse soldiers in his studio in 2011, in honor of the entire military special operations community. That statue, the American Response Monument, is now at the World Trade Center site in New York.

America's Response Monument WTC world Trade center NYC
US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback

De oppresso liber.

How Can You Help?

GO FUND ME CAMPAIGN LINK

Your generous financial contribution is urgently needed to support travel expenses and send Special Forces veterans, their wives and children to the monument dedication of “De Oppresso Liber” entitled the “America’s Response”, to be held on September 13th in NYC.  This incredibly detailed larger than life sized monument will officially be dedicated, in Liberty Park, overlooking Ground Zero, in the World Trade Center area of lower Manhattan honoring these veterans, and their families.

It falls to private or corporate charitable contributions to help facilitate these former Special Forces (SF) veteran’s and their family’s attendance.  Official travel funds are available for only a handful of active duty SF soldiers to participate in this dedication.  U.S. Government regulations prohibit the use of limited official travel funds for the attendance of the many more former or now retired Special Forces veterans, their spouses and children.  It’s up to generous patriots like you, to get these SF veterans and their families to the dedication in NYC.

After 15 years, separated by subsequent assignments and time, only a few of these original Special Forces soldiers are still actively serving.  Most of these retired and active soldiers have never visited New York City and Ground Zero, accompanied by their families, nor visited the America’s Response Monument inspired by their heroic actions.

Building positive memories, your contribution will allow these families and surviving Special Forces soldiers to travel to NYC, attend the ceremony and events around the dedication reuniting with their SF teammates and fellow Special Operators.  Attending this ceremony together with their loved ones, spouse, or children at their side will be one of the most important memories these families and veterans will have the opportunity to experience. Providing some measure of closure for their years of personal sacrifice following numerous deployments, incurred personal injuries and loss of fallen comrades.  Enduring repeated months of separation, missed anniversaries, birthdays and life events spent away from their loved ones.  Help aid the healing of these families by supporting them to attend this event together.

Please help us get these Special Forces veterans and their families to this dedication.  Attendees at this ceremony are anticipated to be mostly local New York City, New York and New Jersey government, civic leaders and officials, including representatives of the Port Authority Police, NYPD, FDNY and general public.

Individual and corporate donations are welcome.  The more funds we can raise to offset travel costs the more SF veterans and their families can attend this dedication.  Please help us send these veteran Green Berets, special operations personnel and their former teams and families to NYC.

What is the “De Oppresso Liber” or America’s Response Monument?

The monument “De Oppresso Liber” entitled “America’s Response”, was created to commemorate the role of U.S. Special Operations teams, inter-agency intelligence community and military service members who spearheaded America’s initial military response to the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our nation in the opening stages of Operation Enduring Freedom as part of Task Force Dagger.

America’s initial military response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 sent American Special Operations Forces secretly into Afghanistan.  An unprecedented Unconventional Warfare campaign in which U.S. Army Special Forces were the nation’s designated main effort.  Spearheading the coordination of U.S. military operations on the ground were an initial half dozen U.S. Army Special Forces, 12 – man “Green Beret” teams who worked closely together with inter-agency intelligence representatives.  These combined Special Forces teams were supported by various other U.S. governmental agencies and America’s Special Operations Forces, backed with the intelligence, logistical, and aerial might of the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Marines as well as Coalition and Allied partner nations.

As Task Force Dagger formed, in the first wave of the campaign one combined SF team, ODA-595, would be first on the ground in Northern Afghanistan.  Inserted by special operations helicopter at night, they would spearhead operations to meet and work closely with various regional personalities from three ethnic factions in the armed resistance against the Taliban and al Qaida terrorists.  ODA-595 uniquely accomplished their daunting mission over several weeks and months, while daily riding into battle on horseback. These unconventional warriors, gathered intelligence, organized the resistance forces, coordinated the assault of enemy objectives, and directed sophisticated air strikes. Their story has become legendary and inspired this breath taking monument – America’s Response to 9/11 and terrorism.

ODA-595 and other Special Forces teams were sparsely dispersed across the mountainous countryside of Afghanistan, sharing the harsh living conditions and fighting alongside local Afghan regional personalities, tribal commanders and their soldiers. Task Force Dagger and their Afghan allies accomplished in weeks what many thought would take months, if not years – routing the Taliban and al Qaeda forces from their strongholds, overthrowing the Taliban regime and pushing surviving members of al-Qaeda into the mountains of Pakistan.

The courageous actions and unique experience of ODA-595 and these SF veterans were the inspiration for this monument’s design by equestrian sculptor Douwe Blumberg in 2002. Historians now credit Task Force Dagger and these few Special Forces teams and operators because of their exceptional deeds as allowing America to be seen by the Afghan people as liberators, a living example of the Special Forces motto, “De Oppresso Liber” meaning “to liberate the oppressed”.  They would later be identified by President Bush as the “Horse Soldiers” which inspired a book by Doug Stanton as well as other publications including “The Last Warlord” by Brian Glynn Williams.

Individual and corporate donations are welcome.  The more funds we can raise to offset travel costs the more SF veterans and their families can attend this dedication.  Please help us send these veteran Green Berets, special operations personnel and their former teams and families to NYC.

Donation of your airline and hotel reward points are also greatly appreciated. Please email me if you are able to donate airline or hotel points.

US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback
US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback

US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback
US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback
US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback
US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback
US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback
US Special Forces Avenged 9-11 on Horseback
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