One of the elite warriors of SEAL Team Six died on Monday from wounds he sustained during a rescue mission in eastern Afghanistan.
The mission objective was to free an American doctor, Dr. Dilip Joseph, from his Taliban captors who abducted him, along with two of his foreign co-workers, while he was returning from a rural medical clinic in Kabul province on Dec. 5.
Dr. Joseph is a medical advisor for Morning Star Development, a non-profit organization that provides relief and assistance to Afghan communities.
Roughly 11 hours before the SEAL Team raid and after three days of negotiation with the Morning Star executives, the Taliban captors released Joseph’s two foreign co-workers, but refused to free the Colorado Springs native.
At that time, it was determined that “Joseph was in imminent danger of injury or death,” according to military documents, so Gen. John R. Allen, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, green-lit the rescue mission.
Save for the death of the SEAL Team Six hero, the mission was a success.
In a press release, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta praised the efforts of the brave men who carried out the mission, while lamenting the death of the unidentified operative.
“I was deeply saddened to learn that a U.S. service member was killed in the operation, and I also want to extend my condolences to his family, teammates and friends,” Panetta said in a statement.
“The special operators who conducted this raid knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy’s grip. They put the safety of another American ahead of their own, as so many of our brave warriors do every day and every night. In this fallen hero, and all of our special operators, Americans see the highest ideals of citizenship, sacrifice and service upheld. The torch of freedom burns brighter because of them.”
President Obama also weighed in on the matter, offering condolences to the family of the slain serviceman who belonged to the same covert unit (DEVGRU aka SEAL Team Six) that executed the bin Laden ‘kill or capture’ mission.
“Yesterday, our special operators in Afghanistan rescued an American citizen in a mission that was characteristic of the extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism that our troops show every day,” he said today.
“Tragically, we lost one of our special operators in this effort,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family, just as we must always honor our troops and military families. He gave his life for his fellow Americans, and he and his teammates remind us once more of the selfless service that allows our nation to stay strong, safe and free.”
ABC News reported that Joseph sustained a few bumps and bruises after being roughed up by his captors, but was in overall good condition and would return home to Colorado Springs in the next few days.