PEARL HARBOR (NNS) -- Members of SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team (SDVT) 1 saluted five of their fallen teammates on the second anniversary of their sacrifice in a commemoration ceremony aboard USS Missouri (BB 63) June 28.
Five members of SVDT-1 were killed two years ago while conducting counter-terrorism operations in the Korangal Valley of Afghanistan during Operation Redwing.
The team donated 50 state flags to the battleship in honor of their teammates to be used during all ceremonies held aboard the ship.
Retired Vice Adm. Robert K.U. Kihune, chairman of the USS Missouri Memorial, accepted the flags on behalf of the ship.
"Although Missouri's guns are silent today and our new crew no longer can sail this ship in harm's way, we are proud and privileged that besides being a memorial for fallen warriors of years past, we could still provide a platform for the recognition of the honor and commemoration of today's warriors," said Kihune. "The 50 state flags are flown at every memorial ceremony at the battleship Missouri memorial to commemorate the outstanding military men and women of all 50 states who have served our nation with valor, honor and distinction."
Lt. Michael P. Murphy of Patchogue, N.Y.; Senior Chief Information Systems Technician (SEAL) Daniel R. Healy of Exeter, N.H.; Quartermaster 2nd Class (SEAL) James E. Suh of Deerfield Beach, Fla.; Sonar Technician Surface 2nd Class (SEAL) Matthew G. Axelson of Cupertino, Calif.; and Machinist's Mate 2nd Class (SEAL) Shane E. Patton of Boulder City, Nev., selflessly gave their lives in service of their country June 28, 2005.
A total of 11 U.S. Navy SEALs, including the five members of SVDT-1, and eight U.S. Army Special Operations aviators lost their lives in the engagement.
The deaths of the 11 SEALS represents the single greatest loss during combat to the special operations force since their inception in 1962.
The team's task unit commander of alpha platoon during the mission delivered a powerful and emotional speech of the men who lost their lives to an audience of friends, family and teammates.
"I count myself blessed to have worked with a company of warriors such as these men that we remember today," said the task unit commander, who spoke of the special bond that SEAL teammates have for one another.
"For us, love for one another is true and unconditional. It's not based on friendships or personal relationships; it's simply based on the fact that you are a teammate. Nothing else is required," he said. "Love is what motivated these men to lay down their lives for one another and in return ensure none of them were left behind."
The task unit commander wrapped up his speech by reciting the U.S. Navy SEALs Creed.
"Brave men have fought and died building the proud tradition and feared reputation that I am bound to uphold. In the worst of conditions, the legacy of my teammates steadies my resolve and silently guides my every deed. I will not fail," said the commander.
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