To the Editor: Navy frogmen risked their lives 'so others may live' PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by Melvin Hayden   
Wednesday, 11 November 2009 09:51
I served in the Navy from 1986 through 1989.  I had the honor and privilege of serving as a helicopter air crewman and rescue swimmer.
I would like to tell you about the Navy frogmen who's motto is "so others may live."  This group of unassuming men, not the usual suspects you would think of, their training is excruciating and long with an attrition rate of 99 percent among the 1 percent of nation that are in the military.  What makes these guys stand apart is their fearlessness, drive to not give up, willingness to stare fear in the face, jump into an abyss, not knowing if there coming home but knowing for sure that if anyone can save that life, civilian or military, it's them.
During my duty we were sent to the Persian Gulf.  Our squadron received the Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal for being the first in the region to have combat duty.  During this time I was assigned as enlisted SAR officer.
I saw daily the dedication of the 20 men I was responsible for who risked there lives to protect over 7,000 lives in the fleet.  It did not matter if it was under fire, or in the dark moonless nights in a gulf full of unknown danger, all the men and women serving knew that the helicopter was there.  
The best way to honor our troops is through tolerance.  We all serve to protect the constitution and that means all people.
Melvin Hayden

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