Faith helped unite and drive the men of one of the Army Special Forces teams that launched the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, retired soldier Will Summers told about 1,200 people Saturday night at one of Manna Church’s Easter services.
Long ago — before the War on Terror devolved into a game of whack-a-mole; before MRAPs, and IEDs, and ROEs, and PTSD, all that other mundane stuff — a small group of Green Berets rode into battle against America’s enemies in the most glorious way possible: on horseback. The year was 2001. The commandos, a 12-man team codenamed Operational Detachment Alpha 595, were the first U.S. troops on the ground in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 terror attacks. For weeks, they galloped alongside a faction of the Northern Alliance and beat the britches off a much larger Taliban force. It was an extraordinary display of unconventional warfare. By mid-November, the Taliban had abandoned Kabul, and Osama Bin Laden was hightailing it to Tora Bora. Were the War on Terror a blockbuster Hollywood movie, the credits would probably start rolling right about there.
“We’re fighting with horsemen against tanks,” a confounded ThorChris Hemsworth is heard saying, his voice trembling, over a vivid montage of Green Berets unloading on Taliban and al Qaeda fighters with M4s from charging steeds in the new trailer for Warner Bros’ 12 Strong.