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 firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Monday, August 8, 2011 2:33 pm
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.