Friends from the 5th Group Special Forces Scholarship Fund

unnamed 4Cheryl Carter, Janea Hiser, Ophelia and I went to the scholarship award ceremony on July 6 at Ft. Campbell. It was as inspiring and moving as 2016. Last year $100,000 was given out but because of an increase from the Legion Fund, $130,000 was awarded this year. And we were truly overwhelmed when the Legion Fund’s generosity was lavishly praised by the Group commander, Col. Leahy, and Chris Spence, the head of 5th Group Special Forces Scholarship Fund.

We heard heartwarming stories from numerous parents. Some examples are: a fourth daughter couldn’t have gone to college without her grant and her mother was ecstatic she could apply next year; a senior majoring in international studies couldn’t have done a semester in Moscow without the grant; a retired master sergeant was able to get a daughter through Auburn and she is now pursuing an advanced degree in education; a single parent daughter is able to complete her ABSN at a community college before going on to nursing school; and, too many others to relate here. I wish I could tell all of them.

Similar to last year, the Green Beret offspring were presented over-sized checks (see photo above). As required for security reasons when we received the picture of the group their names were blurred. This is further proof of the danger that the families of these brave Green Berets face.


George Paine

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3 Special Forces Troops Killed and 2 Are Wounded in an Ambush in Niger

Via NY Times:

WASHINGTON — Three United States Army Special Forces were killed and two were wounded on Wednesday in an ambush in Niger while on a training mission with troops from that nation in northwestern Africa, American military officials said.

“We can confirm reports that a joint U.S. and Nigerien patrol came under hostile fire in southwest Niger,” Lt. Cmdr. Anthony Falvo, a spokesman for the United States Africa Command in Stuttgart, Germany, said in an email.

All five American soldiers were Green Berets, said two United States military officials. The attack took place 120 miles north of Niamey, the capital of Niger, near the border with Mali, where militants with Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, an affiliate of Al Qaeda, have conducted cross-border raids. Niger’s troops were also believed to have suffered casualties, but details were not immediately known.

The deaths represent the first American casualties under hostile fire in a mission in which United States Special Forces have provided training and security assistance to the Nigerien armed forces, including support for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance. A Special Forces soldier died in a vehicle accident in Niger in February.

One of the military officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss continuing military operations, said American forces were rushing to the scene of the ambush, presumably to evacuate American and Nigerien casualties, and possibly to hunt down the attackers. 

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