An American physician, captured and held by Taliban insurgents in eastern Afghanistan, was rescued last week-end, but at a high human cost. During a helicopter assault on a mountainous hide-out near the Pakistan border, conducted by an elite, combined American and Afghan special operations team, 8-year veteran Navy SEAL, Petty-Officer First Class Nicolas Checque of Monroeville, Pennsylvania, was killed in the ensuing fire-fight against the heavily-armed Taliban captors. Petty-Officer Checque was a member of the same SEAL unit sent to dispatch bin Laden, the head of the al-Qaeda snake.
We salute, with reverence, the skill, dedication, and the ultimate sacrifice of this courageous, great American, Navy Petty-Officer First-Class Nicolas Checque. His death brings home, again, to us all, the enormous cost in lives, limbs, and emotions, required to continually preserve our security and freedom, as well as that of others. We are truly blessed, as a nation, to have such fine men and women, across all five branches, so thoroughly-devoted to protecting America through military and combat service, the very highest form of true patriotism.