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Green Beret killed in Afghanistan was ‘an accomplished, respected and loved Special Forces soldier’
The Special Forces community is honoring the life of Sgt. 1st Class Jeremy W. Griffin, who was killed in Afghanistan on Monday, whom his commander described as a superlative soldier and beloved teammate.
"He was a warrior - an accomplished, respected and loved Special Forces soldier that will never be forgotten," Col. Owen G. Ray, commander of 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), said in a news release. "We ask that you keep his family and teammates in your thoughts and prayers."
Griffin, 40, was killed by small arms fire during combat operations in Wardak Province, Afghanistan, while serving with 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne), according to U.S. Army Special Operations Command. He was on his fourth combat deployment, three of which were in Afghanistan.
After enlisting in the Army in 2004, Griffin deployed to Iraq in 2006 and Afghanistan in in 2009 while serving with the 82nd Airborne Division. He deployed to Afghanistan for a second time in 2016 with 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) and rotated through South Korea in 2018.
He had graduated from numerous schools including the United States Army Ranger School, the Special Operations Joint Terminal Attack Controller Course, U.S. Army Basic and Advanced Airborne Schools; the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, the Basic Korean Course, and the Special Forces Intelligence Sergeants Course.
Griffin was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and his second Bronze Star Medal. His other military awards include three Army Achievement Medals, five Army Good Conduct Medals, three Noncommissioned Officer Professional Development Ribbons, the Army Marksmanship Qualification Badge (Expert), the Combat Infantry Badge, and the Combat Action Badge.
"The loss of Sgt. 1st Class Griffin is felt across the 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne) family and the entire Special Forces community," Ray said in the news release.
For U.S. service members who have fought alongside the Kurds, President Donald Trump's decision to approve repositioning U.S. forces in Syria ahead of Turkey's invasion is a naked betrayal of valued allies.
"I am ashamed for the first time in my career," one unnamed special operator told Fox News Jennifer Griffin.
In a Twitter thread that went viral, Griffin wrote the soldier told her the Kurds were continuing to support the United States by guarding tens of thousands of ISIS prisoners even though Turkey had nullified an arrangement under which U.S. and Turkish troops were conducting joint patrols in northeastern Syria to allow the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, to withdraw.
"The Kurds are sticking by us," the soldier told Griffin. "No other partner I have ever dealt with would stand by us."
Defense Secretary Mark Esper has confirmed that a nightmare scenario has come to pass: Captured ISIS fighters are escaping as a result of Turkey's invasion of Kurdish-held northeast Syria.
Turkey's incursion has led to "the release of many dangerous ISIS detainees," Esper said in a statement on Monday.
Video footage of a purported "bombing of Kurd civilians" by Turkish military forces shown on ABC News appeared to be a nighttime firing of tracer rounds at a Kentucky gun range.
The U.S. military's seemingly never-ending mission supporting civil authorities along the southwestern border will last at least another year.
On Sept. 3, Defense Secretary Mark Esper approved a request from the Department of Homeland Security to provide a total of up to 5,500 troops along the border until Sept. 30, 2020, Lt. Gen. Laura Richardson, commander of U.S. Army North, said on Monday.