August 9th, 2011
10:29 AM ET

Chopper tragedy and dread of 'The Knock'

Editor's note: Rebekah Sanderlin is an Army wife, a mother of two and a freelance writer who lives near Fort Bragg, North Carolina. She writes the "Operation Marriage" blog about military family life.

I was barely through my first cup of coffee Saturday morning when my husband called. He's not deployed now, but had to spend Friday night training at Fort Bragg. He'd heard rumors about the helicopter crash in Afghanistan but didn't know any details. I quickly jumped on and found the headline "Dozens of Americans dead," and my heart fell like an anchor.

Once together, my husband and I immediately began a roll call, anxiously suggesting names to each other of everyone we know who is deployed in Afghanistan, wondering if any of our friends might be dead.

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Filed under: Casualties • Opinion • Troops
soundoff (57 Responses)
  1. Hans B. Pandjaitan from Jakarta/Indonesia

    I have always believed that God never gives cross to bear larger than we can carry. No matter what; He wants us to be happy. Birds sing after a storm. Why shouldn't we? Look not mournfully into the past; it returns no more; wisely improve the present and go forth into the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart. God Bless you and your Mom!

    August 11, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

      My condolences to the families of these young men. Nothing happens that isn't for a greater good. That is how God operates. Had my 22-year old mother did not give me birth, I wouldn't be writing here. So all the children of these brave soldiers. My mother was killed in the first days after the World War II, when I was three. The children of these soldiers have a special destiny in God's Plan! Speaking about this incident, I partially blame the West Point and Pentagon, for not using small choppers, instead of a Chinook in these types of operations. Thirty small choppers are far more difficult to hit! Its pure common sense! Thirty black-painted choppers should always be on stand-by! It's strategy 101! Take this from a theologian!

      August 15, 2011 at 3:29 am | Report abuse |
  2. salerno

    Taliban spokesman Zabiullah rejected the claim that the responsible for shoting down the copter was killed. He was able to leave the area and is safe.

    August 11, 2011 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Let's just hope that you're right salerno, about this Zabiullah being alive. Those NATO monsters have already killed far too many people as it is! So did we Americans while we were in Vietnam. All these right-wing, war-loving blowhards here make me sick to my stomach!!!

      August 19, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Report abuse |
  3. rob roy

    hey DAN FROM CHICAGO,nice history touch on the spread of communism in Vietnam.yeah that's right DAN those rice paddy farmers in southeast Asia were a real threat to the rest of the free world you misguided MORON.listen folks you cut the head off the snake[bin laden] now bring the troops home,simple wouldn't you say or is someone still stirring the pot?the U.S. is spending 112 billion in Afghanistan this year alone,meanwhile back home your laying off teachers in record numbers because you apparently don't have enough money,strange?

    August 11, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan fron Chicago,IL

      I've already voiced my displeasure to the president about staying in both Iraq and Afghanistan, BUT I'll tell you we have not bitten the head off of any snake. The Islamic fundamentalist's movement will soon bring havoc upon the world and if the Muslim nations do not begin to take action and put an army together to stop these maniac killers who only fight for power in the name of Allah, then they will be taken over and we will begin to see the beast with ten horns form just as Daniel had a prophecy about.

      August 11, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • rob roy

        hey Dan,good to see your a bible thumper, halleluiah we're all saved 10 horned beast eh?watching a little too much LORD OF THE just goes to prove that they had their version of pot back when the bible was written,apparently it consisted of dried camel dung and sheep urine.happy smoking.

        August 11, 2011 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, Il

        You most probably do mot know what the beast is nor the ten horns because of your disbelief in the bible and have not read it. The beast is the Islamic false religion and the ten nations who will be in control during the great tribulation to enforce their religion on all through any means which means that if you do not have Jesus firmly within your heart, mind and soul most likely will be tempted into their beliefs!

        August 12, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        The beast is the falsification of the christianity. Even the christians know that the anti-Christ will take the appearance of Christ himself.

        August 13, 2011 at 3:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Tuan M. Raaban

    War is killing of people,robbing of other's belongings and properties.We have gone to schools and had an education, observe religions .Now it's HIGH TIME to close down the MOSQUES,CHURCHES ,TEMPLES and places of worship as MAN has cheated himself only to show off by OBSERVING a religion which he does'nt know hence the problem !

    August 11, 2011 at 4:18 am | Report abuse |
    • desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

      This hate of religions is the wrong approach. Jesus died for all men, Christians, Moslems, Jews, Hindus, even statanists! He suffered to save them from moral evil, sickness, and death! He came as the Word, but became the Suffering itself, for our sake! It is a suffering that metamorphizes into eternal joy, where all death and sickness, and evil is no more. Jesus left this miraculous composite of His Body in the Christian Eucharist, in form of bread and wine. Rather than whining against religions and compounding hate, The Watican ought to give all religions and all human beings under the sun,the chance to partake of the Holy Communion. Jesus the Merciful intended this, when He healed the Syro-Phoenician woman! I hope that the Watican heeds my voice

      August 15, 2011 at 3:41 am | Report abuse |
      • Bangash

        Islam too extend open invitation to the followers of all religions, come together on common points and form UMMA. All Abraham religions support human welfere therefore all are religiously bound to work jointly for human welfere. Desert voice your approach is great but sorry for what we usualy hear from DAN II who never think like a good human beings and all such individuals in different religions are responsible for prevailing human humiliations in different parts of the world. let us pray for reform of these few enemies of humanity to make the world a beatiful place to live in.

        August 22, 2011 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Emilee

    I am the anxious wife of a deployed Chinook pilot in Afghanistan. This recent news is horrifying to me. I always knew the reality of my husband fighting in a war zone. This crash really brought it close to home. Many times I can't sleep because I am thinking how it has been a long time since my last conversation from my husband. I believe in my husband, and I believe in his mission. This is his second deployment in two years, I'm tired of it. Ten more months to go, still dreading the knock.

    August 11, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
    • ((

      Consider yourself hugged! Deep sympathy for you and best wishes for your brave husband.

      Try to remember there are several cruel minded trolls who lurk here who will go out of their way to hurt you and make you feel bad. Don't let them do that to you.

      August 11, 2011 at 9:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Emilee

        Thank you very much. I understand that people like to argue here. This is not my intention at all. I just wanted to offer the army wives' perspective on deployment. I will not be hurt by people who just want to bully.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
      • ((

        Cheers and (((Hugs!))) to you!

        August 11, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bledsoe

      Emilee, your husband knew the odds went he went over there. As you and he are learning now, war is not fun and games, especially an unnecessary one such as this which is only benefitting the big corporations who want to exploit Afghan mineral resources underground and the right-wing politicians who wish to promote their careers. Besides, I'm sick and tired of all these right-wing blowhards posting here to glorify this useless war!!!

      August 11, 2011 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
      • Emilee

        Knowing the odds doesn't mean you can't miss your loved ones. I knew the odds when I went on my first date with him 8 years ago.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
      • Joyce Peck

        You know the odds, and pray they are in your favor. In our case they were not.
        Our hearts are breaking at the loss of our son in this act of war, and we pray to God no one else has to feel our pain.
        SSG Patrick D Hamburger's mother

        September 1, 2011 at 11:24 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Emilee – you have not the right to be tired if you believe in the war. Afghan people have more rights to be tired, as they are not reponsible for the war.

      August 11, 2011 at 11:25 am | Report abuse |
      • Emilee

        I do have the right to be tired as do the Afghan civilians who just want to live their lives in peace. Like I said, I am tired of the war and deployment in general. That point alone actually supports part of your views.

        August 11, 2011 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        You are tired, but still believe in the war. May be you must say so, as it is politically correct.

        August 11, 2011 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Dan fron Chicago,IL

    And please name some more of our troubles that we have dispersed in the world, BUT BE SURE NOT TO MENTION MUSLIMS DISPARITY FOR THE WORLD!

    August 9, 2011 at 8:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan from Detroit, MI

      Sorry Dan, I forgot to mention what we did in Iran in 1953 by putting the horrific Shah in power there. You know what followed afterwards, don't you?

      August 10, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • Andrew Lubin

        Well posted, Dan. Yes, the Shah of Iran was a truly horrific guy as everybody knows. He tortured his own people and that's inexcusable on his part! What this Dan from Chicago is thinking is truly beyond me by defending our senseless foreign policies.

        August 10, 2011 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Dan from Detroit, MI

    The tragedy here is that this Rebekah Sanderlin wouldn't and shouldn't have to go through all this but for the right-wing thugs in Washington who only want to further their political careers and feather their own nests so to speak! This stupid and obscene war needs to end, bigtime!!!

    August 9, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Dan fron Chicago,IL

    Without the United States of America you would be living under Nazism or imperialism. The United States of America has done great things for the world and without people like those lost in Afghanistan the world is a less safer place!

    August 9, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      I don't feel less safe now.

      August 9, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan fron Chicago,IL

        That's because people hate your opinions on Americans use of force to combat the evil in the world!

        August 10, 2011 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan from Detroit, MI

      Please Dan, wise up! In the past 60 years, we did much more harm around the world than any good. Remember Vietnam, the Congo, Cuba, Chile and Indonesia just to name a few? The world simply does not need and cannot tolerate our aggressive policies!

      August 9, 2011 at 8:05 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan fron Chicago,IL

        WE STOPPED the spread of communism in Vietnam and if Cuba wants to continue with the failed communist lifestyle that's their OWN fault. As for Congo and Indonesia you'll have to tell me what the United states has done to hamper their prosperity because they themselves have not the leadership needed for advancement!

        August 9, 2011 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan fron Chicago,IL

        Oh and Chile, if they do not want to bargain for free trade then that also is their fault!

        August 9, 2011 at 8:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan fron Chicago,IL

        And please name some more of our troubles that we have dispersed in the world, BUT BE SURE NOT TO MENTION MUSLIMS DISPARITY FOR THE WORLD! YOU MIGHT THINK THAT THEY HAVE BEEN PERFECT LITTLE CHILDREN OF GOD!

        August 9, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
      • George Patton

        Unfortunately Dan from Detroit, you're only too correct about the damage done by American intervention around the world. Like you, I too realize the Isolationism as an extremely good idea whose time has indeed come but that won't fly with the money-grubbing, self-serving, right-wing idiots in Washington!

        August 10, 2011 at 9:42 am | Report abuse |
      • Tuan M. Raaban

        Dan, its time for us to focus as to what we are doing.WAR in any sence is distruction of lives and properties.No country has won a war,to rejoice of the victory.Any weapon used to kill a person 'Boomerangs' to where it came from.Lets give up all this nonsence and think BE GOOD !

        August 11, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
      • Bangash

        Thanx you good DAN FROM DETRIOT . The bad DAN from Chicago cannot UNDERSTAND your point. Probably he IS a shareholder in MIC and these deaths and destrucon is his buisness for which he even does not hesitate in missinterpreting Bible. He justifys America, in killing, others, world over.

        August 22, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Bangash

    Killing and bombing of innocents all over the world is as usual US business and their main source of income therefore in return they are being killed as has happened here. Afghanistan has a history and here every invader has been buried. Now USA is on the line and soon world will see another burial on Afghan soil. So the best way is to stop this death merchandise in world politics, close MIC and Pentagon. Concentrate on trade and follow true US national ideals i.e peace, universal justice and fraternity otherwise no one can stop US march towards complete annihilation in near future. Rebeka should realise and see the future of her husband when follow the orders of baby killers in Pentagon

    August 9, 2011 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Yes go back to the true US national ideals, that were quite good. The recent militarization is destroying USA supremacy.

      August 9, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan fron Chicago,IL


        August 10, 2011 at 9:59 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        YOU WILL FAIL.

        August 11, 2011 at 3:08 am | Report abuse |