In the News – An Overlooked Hero of Navy SEALs’ Operation Red Wings

An Overlooked Hero of Navy SEALs’ Operation Red Wings

Source: ABC News

Jul 1, 2015, 9:11 AM ET


When Ed and Suzanne Kristensen first heard about a Chinook helicopter being shot down in eastern Afghanistan on June 28, 2005, at first they feared for their Navy SEAL son Erik, who was deployed there at the time, but were reassured by a Navy friend that he likely wouldn’t have been aboard.

“Someone said Erik wouldn’t be on the helo,” recalled his mother, who goes by Sam.

It was a matter of seniority. Lt. Commander Erik Kristensen was a senior commander in SEAL Team 10 in Afghanistan and didn’t go on as many ground combat operations as those in the platoons under him.

“But he was on the helo,” his mother told ABC News, as the family marked the tenth anniversary of Erik’s death in Operation Red Wings last weekend.

A decade after the incident, Erik Kristensen, by many accounts an unconventional SEAL, remains a largely unknown figure in the public telling of one of U.S. special operations’ most tragic — but also most celebrated, for valor — incidents in its history, despite bestselling books, websites and last year’s hit movie “Lone Survivor.”

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