Skip to comments.Navy SEAL Fought To the Death
Posted on 03/22/2002 1:25:31 AM PST by kattracks
Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Neil Roberts shot dead and dragged off by Al Qaeda fighters March 4 went down fighting.
Thrown from his helicopter on the first night of Operation Anaconda, the Navy SEAL found himself alone and in enemy territory, according to two new accounts, including an e-mail circulating among military personnel.
His survival instinct in high gear, Roberts a married father of a toddler son grabbed a machine gun from a felled commando nearby, CBS News reported last night.
He opened fire with the machine gun and a pistol on the enemy fighters around him until he ran out of ammunition.
Roberts, 32, then stood and threw all his grenades before being cut down by enemy fire.
Helpless and horrified, his commanders watched via a reconnaissance drone's camera as Roberts' valiant last stand ended with Al Qaeda fighters dragging off his body.
According to the e-mail and other accounts given to CBS News by members of the Special Operations forces in Afghanistan, Roberts' helicopter was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade that didn't explode but caused the aircraft to lurch.
That ejected the chopper's tail gunner, who dangled from the aircraft by his safety harness.
Roberts then raced to action, putting down his rifle to pull the gunner inside.
But the helicopter was jolted again, and Roberts, who wasn't wearing a harness, fell 10 feet to the ground. His helicopter left without him, apparently unaware he was not on board, the reports said.
A second U.S. chopper also came under fire, and a commando aboard it was shot dead. He fell to the ground still clutching his machine gun, and Roberts made his way over to the dead soldier to grab his guns, according to CBS News.
Last Monday at a memorial service, Roberts was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star. CBS reported he is also being considered for a Medal of Honor.
"It is comforting to know that strong men stand ready to visit the risks associated with preserving our freedom. Neil has made us all proud. Neil is a hero"
VALIANT TO THE END
By NILES LATHEM
March 22, 2002 -- WASHINGTON - The U.S. commando killed by the enemy after tumbling out of a helicopter accomplished astonishing feats of bravery as he tried to fight off al Qaeda fighters, it was revealed last night.
Outnumbered and armed only with a machine gun and hand grenades, stranded Navy SEAL Neal Roberts courageously battled the al Qaeda fighters in the final moments of his life - down to his last bullet before he was shot.
The harrowing tale of tragic battlefield heroics took place March 2 when Roberts' chopper was hit by rocket-propelled grenades during an ambush.
The tail gunner fell out while the helicopter was in the air, but he was still attached to his safety harness and was hanging outside the aircraft.
Military officials said Roberts dropped his weapon and quickly pulled the tail gunner back in.
But the chopper made a violent jerk and Roberts - who was not wearing a safety harness - fell out, right in the middle of a nest of die-hard al Qaeda snipers.
A few minutes later, a second U.S. helicopter also was attacked by enemy fire, and a soldier in that chopper was hit and fell out dead - still clutching his machine gun.
Roberts' comrades say that under heavy fire, he crawled over to his fallen comrade, took his weapon and fired at the band of al Qaeda fighters until he ran out of ammunition.
Then, he grabbed a grenade, stood up and was shot as he tossed it.
A Predator drone aircraft flying above the battlefield videotaped al Qaeda fighters dragging off the lifeless Roberts. His body was later recovered by U.S. forces.
Military officials say it's likely Roberts, one of eight American servicemen killed during the massive assault on an al Qaeda hideout in the bloody battle of Gardez, will be posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor.
You got that right.
Him and all those Gen-Y twerps he influenced, who think like Bill Maher that Clinton was a cool dude who had it together and showed the oldthinkers how it works.
Surely for this courageous man's death - to honor him and all those who have died for us - we can do nothing less than get out and fight for our country in these coming elections. The Rats who loathe this man and all he stood for are going to clean our clocks unless we on the home front get active to bring into the Senate and the House of Representatives people who respect our military and want to do what it takes to restore our military strength and provide these fighters with the very best equipment and support possible.
If this hero's story doesn't motivate us - I don't know what will. He gave his life for our country and our freedom. Can't we give a few hours every week from now til the elections plus a few dollars NOT TO THE PARTY BUT TO THE CANDIDATES WE HAVE LOCATED WHO WILL VOTE TO HELP KEEP AMERICA STRONG INSTEAD OF KEEPING HER WEAK?
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