R.I.P. John Douangdara

One by one, the names of Navy SEAL killed in Afghanistan are finally coming out.  I was totally shocked to read the article below at friend’s facebook page.  One of the fallen soldier among 37 killed last Saturday is Lao-American.  My heart goes out to his family.

South Sioux City man among SEALs killed in Afghanistan

By Tim Gallagher tgallagher@siouxcityjournal.com | Posted: Monday, August 8, 2011 2:33 pm

buy this photoJournal photo by Tim Gallagher
Sengchanh Douangdara of South Sioux City holds a portrait of her son, John Douangdara, on Monday. John Douangdara was among U.S. Navy SEALs killed in action Saturday when their helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan.

SOUTH SIOUX CITY – The family of a U.S. Navy SEAL serving in Afghanistan confirmed the death of their son and brother on Saturday in a helicopter crash in Wardak province.

Sengchanh Douangdara, the mother of U.S. Navy SEAL John Douangdara, said military officials came to her door at 10 a.m. Saturday to deliver the news of her son’s death. Master at Arms, Class 1 John Douangdara, 26, was a lead dog handler for the elite military unit. The 2003 South Sioux City High School graduate was aboard a Chinook helicopter with 37 others when the aircraft was shot down during an anti-Taliban operation in the Tangi Valley.

Thirty U.S. troops were killed, including nearly two dozen members of the U.S. Navy SEALs.

Seven Afghan soldiers and an Afghan interpreter also were killed in the deadliest incident for U.S. forces since the start of the decade-long war.

“I didn’t even know Johnny was a Navy SEAL,” his mother said. “I know that he loved his job, it was a job he chose.”

The family’s sadness was tempered with pride their brother and son served his country, a country that welcomed these Laotian immigrants 31 years ago.

“We are proud Johnny fought for the country that embraced our family and gave us the opportunity to reach for the American dream,” said Chan Follen, the oldest of five children in the family.

For more of this story, read the Sioux City Journal and siouxcityjournal.com.



3 thoughts on “R.I.P. John Douangdara

  1. Jeffrey Cochran

    My deepest Heart felt condolences to the Douangdara Family.
    Your loss, the combined loss is heartbreaking.
    Looking at Johnny’s photos knowing a little bit about Lao people, my wife is from Vientiane. Knowing a little bit more what it is to be a Sailor in the USN.
    It is obvious Johnny was a good, honorable, happy hearted man.
    We are very fortunate to have such men and women that are willing to be the protectors of our inalienable rights, supporting and defending the United States Constitution.
    Being the providers of the very blanket of freedom under which we rise and sleep.
    Johnny has been freed to go on to the next life.
    Thank you Johnny Douangdara for all you did for us while you were here.
    We wish you well friend in the next life.
    Thanks to your family for raising such a fine young man.

    The Cochran Family

  2. Santi Di Perna

    I worked with John back when he was a dog handler still in the fleet and assigned to US NAS Sigonella in Sicily, Italy. Good person, true professional, dedicated man, good friend. Always a smile and a good word, no matter how frustrating or painstaking the job was. I truly liked him and enjoyed his company.
    It was painful to read the news. Condolences to the Family.

    R.I.P. Brother,

    Santi Di Perna
    Sicily, Italy


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s