A group has assembled to organize a survival and fitness event, or GORUCK challenge, with the ultimate goal of commemorating some of America’s fallen heroes and raising funds for the families they have left behind.
The coming months will mark the 10th anniversary of Operation Red Wings, a behind-enemy-lines operation that ended in the deaths of 19 American service members, including 11 Navy SEALs, which took place near the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan.
At the time, it was the largest loss of life for Naval Special Warfare since the Second World War. The June 28, 2005, events inspired a bestselling book, penned by Marcus Luttrell, which eventually found its way onto the silver screen in a major Hollywood film titled Lone Survivor.
Luttrell’s SEAL comrades on the ground, Lt. Michael P. Murphy, Gunner’s Mate 2nd Class Danny P. Dietz, and Sonar Technician 2nd Class Matthew G. Axelson, unable to fight their way out, paid the ultimate price and were killed in combat while fighting valiantly for their survival, as told by the film.
Later that same day, insurgents near Asadabad, Afghanistan, in the Kumar Province, shot down an MH-47 helicopter that had been dispatched to assist the mission’s ground team. After the smoke had cleared, eight additional soldiers had passed away.
To celebrate the lives of those fallen service members, a custom GORUCK challenge has been planned for this June in Cold Spring, New York.
The team event challenge, which is being hosted by Timothy C. Parlatore, will focus on mental and physical toughness through a series of tests, which are inspired by the special operations community.
Breitbart News talked with Parlatore, a 15-year Navy veteran and Manhattan defense attorney, who also participated in a similar challenge on the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion.
Parlatore spoke of the inspiration behind planning the event, saying, “I remember when Operation Red Wings occurred, and I have always found the story to be very powerful and meaningful.”
Later, my wife and I became friends with one of the SEALs who was on the second helicopter, and he inspired me to try to do something to make a difference.
I wanted to create something where participants could experience just a taste of what those warriors endured on that mountain, while raising money for a worthwhile and relevant cause.
Parlatore says all proceeds from the event will benefit the SEAL/NSW Family Foundation, a nonprofit organization that raises funds and awareness in support of Naval Special Warfare families.
Cindy Dietz-Marsh, mother to the late Danny Dietz, will be participating in the event. She spoke with Breitbart News about the challenge, as well as the legacy of America’s fallen heroes. She said:
First and foremost I am humbled and honored to attend this event and join all of the patriots who will be in attendance to honor our loved ones from Operation Red Wings.
This unique challenge will further educate the public of what took place on that mountain and what our warriors endured that day. Thank you for never forgetting.
All participants who successfully complete the challenge, which will take place during the weekend of June 19-22, 2015, will receive a special Operation Red Wings GORUCK Tough patch, which will feature the silhouettes of fallen soldiers standing before an American Flag.
Registration fees for those interested will be $165 for the entire weekend, with participants given the option to donate more directly to the families of the fallen heroes. The end goal is to raise $10 thousand.
An exact time and place for the challenge has yet to be determined, however if successful, it could become an annual event. Click here to find out more information about the custom GORUCK challenge.
In addition to the aforementioned lost SEALs, the event will be dedicated to the memory of all those lost during Operation Red Wings, a list that includes:
Lost Navy SEALs:
SOC Jacques J. Fontan
SOCS Daniel R. Healy
LCDR Erik S. Kristensen
SO1 Jeffery A. Lucas
LT Michael M. McGreevy, Jr
SO2 James E. Suh
SO1 Jeffrey S. Taylor
SO2 Eric S. Patton
Lost members of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment:
SSG Shamus O. Goare
CWO3 Corey J. Goodnature
SGT Kip A. Jacoby
SFC Marcus V. Muralles
MSG James W. Ponder III
MAJ Stephen C. Reich
SFC Michael L. Russell
CWO4 Chris J. Scherkenbach