Richard Plummer was a 24-year-old soldier training on a forested mountain slope between Randle and Packwood on May 18, 1980.

He hadn't heard much, if anything, about the volcanic activity at Mount St. Helens about 30 miles to the southwest. So when he saw a storm of ash rolling toward his Green Beret campsite that morning, he didn't quite know what to make of it.

But the next 24 hours of his life would be defined by surviving and escaping the aftermath of the most disastrous volcanic eruption in U.S. history.

Plummer and 45 other Green Berets, plus another 64 Army Ranger trainees, were just miles from Packwood when the volcano erupted that morning, directly killing 57 people and ejecting hundreds of million of tons of ash in their direction.

Those soldiers' story, as far as Plummer is aware, has never been published, although he's mentioned it to friends and family. Plummer and his wife, Rebecca Holton, both 63, are now retired after decades-long careers in the intelligence community.

"From what we've seen and heard and read … this story has never been told," Holton said in a recent interview at their Vancouver home last week.

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U.S. Army Master Sgt. Luis Deleon-Figueroa (DoD photo)

The 9-year-old daughter of a Green Beret killed in combat in Afghanistan read a touching letter to her father during a memorial service in Massachusetts on Tuesday.

"Dear papi, I miss you a lot. I wish you were still alive," Angie, the daughter of U.S. Army Master Sgt. Luis Deleon-Figueroa said during the service. "It doesn't feel right without you. I want to thank you for being a great hero and a great daddy."

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Sgt. 1st Class Dustin B. Ard died on Aug. 29 of wounds he sustained during combat operations in Afghanistan.

The Special Forces community is mourning the loss of another brother killed in Afghanistan this year: Sgt. 1st Class Dustin B. Ard, of 1st Special Forces Group (Airborne).

Ard, 31, was on his third deployment to Afghanistan when he died on Aug. 29 from wounds he sustained during combat operations in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, said Lt. Col. Loren Bymer, a spokesman for U.S. Army Special Operations Command.

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The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.

Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.

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Watch how a psychological operations team helped end the war lord Joseph Kony's reign in Africa where he was kidnapping kids and forcing them to fight as child soldiers. They've been doing inception long before Leonardo DiCaprio made it cool.

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