Father of fallen Toombs County soldier speaks out

TOOMBS CO., GA (WTOC) - The Pentagon has finally released at least a summary of what they say happened last fall in an ambush in Niger that claimed the lives of four U.S. soldiers, including SSG Dustin Wright of Toombs County.

The Pentagon may have released part of its report on what happened in Niger, but it does little to satisfy the father of one of the fallen soldiers, Wright's father sat down with WTOC to talk about his son and the parts of the report that still bother him.

Artie Wright met with military leaders before they released a summary of their investigation into the ambush that killed SSG Dustin Wright and others in his unit. Wright says he'd expected the report to be published back in January, and it contains information he'd already tracked down from sources on the ground in Niger. Dustin's unit was supposed to capture or kill a terrorist connected to ISIS. Artie says the Army didn't give Dustin's team what they needed for the mission.

"They didn't have any armored vehicles. They had limited firepower. They had no armed air support," Wright said. "Those things have since been addressed, but it doesn't bring my son back."

Wright disagrees with several findings. One of them, that unit commanders came up with the mission to find a suspected terrorist.

"There's no way you can convince me that a captain in the middle of Africa came up with satellite intelligence on his own," he said.

Wright says he's had much of the information in the report for several months and many of the mistakes in preparation should have been caught by someone in the chain of command.

"It's not like I want to tear the Army down. I'm disappointed as a parent and as a veteran," he said.

Wright hopes the Army learned from this tragedy. Otherwise, he worries, Dustin Wright and the others will have died in vain.

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