EXETER, NH, USA U.S. Navy SCPO, SDV TEAM ONE, PEARL HARBOR, HI ASADABAD, AFGHANISTAN 06/28/2005
“No one left behind” – a hallmark of the Navy’s special operations teams (as well as military units in general). Often said, SCPO Daniel Healy willingly sacrificed his life in an attempt to save his fellow Navy Seals in the mountains of Afghanistan (as outlined in the book “Lone Survivor” by his teammate, Marcus Luttrell).
Yesterday, there was a dedication ceremony in Exeter, NH (where Dan grew up) where the town unveiled a monument to his memory and renamed their community pool and a nearby bridge to his honor:
Four members of his team were ambushed; he insisted that he be on the rescue mission. Eight of his fellow Seals onboard the helicopters, as well as the Army NightStalkers that staffed them, lost their lives.
John 15:13 says:
Greater love has no man than this – that a man lay down his life for his friends.
Daniel had a young family that loved him; he didn’t have to go. But he knew that he was needed and showed us all a lesson that many tritely say “freedom isn’t free”. Sometimes, it takes self-responsibility to preserve that freedom; you cannot have the latter without the former. He showed that self-responsibility can sometimes demand “giving all”.
Healy was part of a dedicated team fighting the Taliban, a fundamentalist regime that a U.S.-led coalition knocked from power in Afghanistan in 2001, but has continued to conduct guerilla operations, particularly along the Pakistan border. Healy worked to help ensure al Qaeda terrorists could not train in, nor launch strikes from Afghanistan since their lethal attack on the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.
Daniel Healy enlisted in the Navy in 1990 and graduated from BUD/S in 1992. He was assigned to SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team ONE (SDVT-1) from 1992 – 1996, followed by a year of intensive language training at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA. Healy next served at SEAL Delivery Team TWO, before returning to SDVT-1 in Pearl Harbor, HI, where he led a training platoon.
In March 2005, Healy deployed to Afghanistan. He died along with seven other SEALs and 8 Army “Nightstalker” commandos when their MH-47D Chinook helicopter was shot down during a misson to rescue a four-man SEAL reconnaissance team in Kunar Province on June 28, 2005.
Lieutenant Michael Murphy, Matthew Axelson, and Danny Dietz fought on courageously, providing protective fire for their fourth squad member to escape, before being killed in the fierce firefight by overwhelming Taliban forces with superior firepower.
A total of 11 SEALs died that day in the Global War against Terror, in the biggest single loss of life for Naval Special Warfare forces since World War II. To a man, these SEALs embodied the Navy’s core values of Honor, Courage and Commitment, and took care of their teammates to the last.
Daniel Healy is remembered with the greatest respect and gratitude by his fellow SEALs, the Navy, and our nation.