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Lone Survivor Foundation (LSF)

I have added this link and information to anyone who would Honor and respect the Families and Warriors of America. Also other links below LSF story about helping all the Navy Seals & their Families when these Warriors make the ultimate sacrifice for Freedom visit and see how you can help. God Bless all our Warriors who fight to protect the Freedoms that God in Heaven freely gave to all Humanity. They know the thin line they tread when they go to work, they are Warriors of Honor.
How will you Honor the Brave?

There are many who do defend this land and its Freedom, many have given their lives and are so honored, I have chosen to speak of the Seal teams here on this page specifically, however to follow all those who defend our Nations is beyond the time limits I have and this site would have to be thousands of pages long to give Honor to all those who have and do defend our Freedoms. Who ever you are, as Veterans, as family or friends of those in uniform we grant you our respect, our thanks. May God bless you and your families.


I would like to invite everyone to visit and learn more about this site and those related to it.
The cause is needed, wonderful and a show of thanks and respect to those who do what most never will, to help provide safety, freedom, liberty for America and other places in the world by their selfless acts which to them are only their jobs.

Marcus and the rest of his team have put together a wonderful dream to help Families and Warriors deal with all aspects of life and death dealing with the life of a warrior, and their dependents.
This helps us call home town USA into action to inspire the American public to pay it forward, by supporting the development of the Lone Survivor Foundation Ranch, to bring hope to our veterans and their families. It will become the model safe haven - a place for warriors and their families to relax and to heal.

This is needed, I personally know family, friends & others who have served over the years in regular military to special ops groups. It effects the whole family in ways regular people will never know so this as a healing place is needed. To support such a just cause as this is to show love and support for others.

The Lone Survivor Foundation is a Federal 501(c)3 Non-Profit
Founded in 2010 by Navy SEAL (Ret.) Marcus Luttrell

He lived and wrote the book "Lone Survivor" Which can be purchased from most book sellers, a link to the book, very worth the read, his motto is "Never Quit!"


He Lived to Tell the Tale (and Write a Best Seller)

White House photo by Eric Draper
President Bush awards a Navy Cross to Marcus Luttrell.

On June 7 Marcus Luttrell was discharged from the Navy, having served with the elite Seals, survived a fierce battle in Afghanistan and earned a Navy Cross for combat heroism. Less than a month later “Lone Survivor,” Mr. Luttrell’s memoir of the 2005 battle and his rescue, became a best seller.



 At the Goldwater Institute's 20th Anniversary Dinner, Marcus Luttrell speaks about the events of what happened to his Brother Seals and himself. Worth the listen. Honor them.

A podcast of Marcus Luttrell talking about 'Lone Survivor'An excerpt from 'Lone Survivor' (from
 An audio excerpt from 'Lone Survivor'

Kelly Campbell
Marcus Luttrell
Unlike Pat Tillman or Jessica Lynch, Mr. Luttrell was not a soldier whose name had been widely reported in the news media. Until he was released from the Navy, he was not permitted to do any publicity for the book, which went on sale June 12.
Yet backed by strong support from military blogs and right-wing pundits like Michelle Malkin as well as appearances with Matt Lauer on NBC’s “Today” program, with Glenn Beck on the radio and on CNN Headline News, “Lone Survivor,” with its action-packed narrative and patriotic tone, has emerged as one of the summer’s biggest publishing success stories. On Sunday the book, which hit No. 1 on The New York Times’s nonfiction hardcover best-seller list two weeks ago, will be back in that slot after slipping to No. 2 for one week. The publisher, Little, Brown & Company, initially printed 75,000 copies; there are now 275,000 copies in print. According to figures from Nielsen BookScan, which tracks about 70 percent of sales, “Lone Survivor” has already outsold books about Mr. Tillman or Ms. Lynch, as well as several other soldiers’ memoirs from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The immediate success of “Lone Survivor,” which Mr. Luttrell wrote with the novelist and ghostwriter Patrick Robinson, can be traced to a combination of factors. Mr. Luttrell’s story, involving a failed mission to capture or kill a Taliban leader in the mountains of Afghanistan, is unusually dramatic: Mr. Luttrell was the only one of four men on the mission to survive after a violent clash with dozens of Taliban fighters. Eight members of the Seals and eight Army special operations soldiers who came by helicopter to rescue the original four were shot down, and all aboard were killed.
Mr. Luttrell was then rescued by a group of Afghan Pashtun villagers who harbored him in their homes for several days, protecting him from the Taliban and ultimately helping him to safety.
Along with the tragic story about how Mr. Luttrell lost his comrades, the book is spiked with unabashed braggadocio and patriotism, as well as several polemical passages lashing out at the “liberal media” for its role in sustaining military rules of engagement that prevent soldiers from killing unarmed civilians who may also be scouts or informers for terrorists.
The book was embraced by many military buffs and conservatives. And the baby-faced Mr. Luttrell, with his commanding physical presence and soft-spoken delivery, made for an intriguing presence in his television interviews.
Michelle Giele, a former engineer and stay-at-home mother in Westwood Hills, a suburb of Kansas City, Kan., said she was captivated when she saw Mr. Luttrell on “Today.” Although she normally isn’t drawn to military memoirs, she said, “he kind of spoke from his heart. It was very compelling, and I wanted to read about it.”
While military history fans and others with ties to the Seals or the war are driving a lot of sales, less conventional readers like Ms. Giele have helped sustain the book as a best seller. “It’s obvious that there are some people reading it who aren’t traditional military readers,” said Mary McCarthy, director of merchandising at Ingram Book Group, a book wholesaler.
Mr. Luttrell, 31, first started thinking of writing a book because he was frustrated by media accounts of the battle. “People were writing these stories, and anything they didn’t know how it happened, they just made up,” he said in a telephone interview from the horse ranch he runs with his twin brother near Houston.
So he talked to his Navy superiors, hired a lawyer and searched for a writer. His lawyer connected him with a literary agent, Ed Victor, who had a client, Mr. Robinson, an Englishman who had written several novels about Navy Seals.
Mr. Victor called Mr. Robinson and told him, “This is the story you’ve been waiting to write all your life.”
Mr. Robinson agreed, and early last spring he flew to meet Mr. Luttrell, who was on leave at the ranch. The two hit it off, and after Mr. Robinson wrote a few pages that Mr. Luttrell liked, they agreed to work together.
The pair met four more times, for a little more than a week each time, at Mr. Robinson’s summer house on Cape Cod.
Between visits Mr. Robinson, who never used a taped recorder, typed chapters on his computer, adding researched material and filling in facts that Mr. Luttrell couldn’t remember but that could be corroborated from other sources. The core of the book —the battle and the rescue — relied entirely on Mr. Luttrell’s memory.
Mr. Luttrell said he would occasionally nudge Mr. Robinson toward accuracy. “You know, he’s English, so he’d have stuff like ‘bloody hell’ or ‘mate,’ and I’m like, ‘Sorry, I don’t talk like that, and neither do all the frogs I work with,’ ” Mr. Luttrell recalled.
Mr. Robinson said he eventually got to be a better mimic and ended up producing a 135,000-word manuscript in less than four months. Perhaps it was the uncanny connection between Mr. Luttrell, who is 6 feet 5 inches, 230 pounds and the son of horse ranchers from Texas, and one of Mr. Robinson’s recurring fictional characters, Rick Hunter, a 6-foot-5, 230-pound Navy Seal team leader who grew up on a horse ranch in Kentucky.
Last September Mr. Robinson and Mr. Luttrell visited five publishers in New York to pitch the book. Little, Brown won it in an auction for a seven-figure advance and sprang into action to get the title on booksellers’ June lists. Meanwhile Mr. Luttrell shipped out to Iraq.
“I’m sure they were white-knuckling it every day I was over there,” he said. “I would check my e-mail, and there were tons of messages from my publisher saying, ‘Please check in and say you’re O.K. ’”
Michael Pietsch, publisher of Little, Brown, said that Mr. Luttrell’s active service certainly made it difficult to position the book before it went on sale. “Had he not been stationed in Iraq in the months preceding the book, we could have had an ‘Oprah’ or a ‘60 Minutes,’ ” Mr. Pietsch said.
But even without any media guarantees, Mr. Pietsch said, he “dared to hope” for a best seller. “There’s such a hunger for stories about this kind of extreme experience and this kind of patriotic view,” he added.
Mr. Luttrell said that his main goal was to tell the story of his comrades who did not make it out alive. “Now I think the American public knows who they are, and now they are forever immortalized,” said Mr. Luttrell, who added that he has set up a trust with all the proceeds from the book to help the families of the dead and to donate to military charities. “Their memory will never die out, and that’s what I wanted.”

Lone Survivor Foundation

Thank you for your patience while our
site is under construction; be watching for our
new site coming Spring 2011

To contact the Foundation via email:
Phone: (903) 894-8315(c9ab44)
Click here to make donation, or mail checks to:
LSF, P.O. Box 1367, Waller, Tx 77484(c9ab44)

For Lone Survivor Foundation events,
check us out on Facebook:
or check out our sister site:

for more information about LSF and its mission

Donate - These funds go to help the families

Visit their site to learn more on how to help.

Thank you for your interest in helping our foundation ease the tremendous burden placed on the families of Naval Special Warfare.  Your contribution makes an enormous difference and is very much appreciated!
Did you know that 95 cents of every dollar spent by the Navy SEAL Foundation supports mission programs and services!


World Update: Most of 31 U.S. Dead in Copter Crash From Navy’s SEAL Team Six — Taliban Claims Credit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned that more than 20 Navy SEALs from the unit that killed Osama bin Laden were among those lost in a helicopter crash in Afghanistan.
The operators from SEAL Team Six were flown by a crew of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment. That’s according to one current and one former U.S. official. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because families are still being notified of the loss of their loved ones.
One source says the team was thought to include 22 SEALs, three Air Force air controllers, seven Afghan Army troops, a dog and his handler, and a civilian interpreter, plus the helicopter crew.
The sources thought this was the largest single loss of life ever for SEAL Team Six, known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group.
A helicopter crash in Afghanistan killed 31 Americans, including as many as 25 Navy SEALs in one of the worst single-day U.S. losses of life since the war began, a senior military official told ABC News early this morning.
A total of 38 people were on board the Chinook helicopter when it crashed overnight in the eastern Afghan province of Wardak.
Initial reports indicate up to 25 Navy SEALs were on the aircraft at the time.
It was also carrying seven Afghan Special Forces troops, one interpreter, five member helicopter crew and one dog.
Troops were apparently involved in a raid at the time.

(AP, ABC7) Across the country, families of those killed in Friday night's helicopter crash in Afghanistan are coming to terms with the news they had always dreaded.

Petty Officer Michael Strange, Navy SEAL Team Six.
Kimberly Vaughn received that knock on her door.
“I saw the men in uniform and I just fell to my knees,” said Vaughn.
She realized her husband, Aaron Carson Vaughn, a member of the Navy's elite SEAL Team Six, was one of 30 troops killed when his helicopter was gunned down by Taliban forces in Afghanistan.
“There's just no preparing for it. You know, it's something you see in the movies, not something you are supposed to live through,” Vaughn said.
Yellow ribbons drape the mailboxes of the Fairfax County home where Kimberly grew up and her family still lives.
Kimberly and Aaron met in Guam while on a USO tour. Married for three years, they have a 2-year-old son and a 2-month-old. He was stationed in Virginia Beach, Virginia,
"I want to tell the world that he was an amazing man, that he was a wonderful husband, and a fabulous father to two wonderful children," she said. "He was a warrior for Christ and he was a warrior for our country and he wouldn't want to leave this Earth any other way than how he did."
The Fairfax native says she'll focus on making sure her children always know the father who paid the ultimate price.
“I'm just going to celebrate his life and share what a wonderful, amazing father he was to them,” Kimberly said.
The family says they will head to Dover Tuesday morning to be there as Aaron Vaughn’s body returns home to U.S. soil.
In Philadelphia Sunday, an emotional Charles Strange sought to comfort friends and neighbors mourning the death of his brother Michael.
"He loved all you guys and all of his friends. All the kids who were here yesterday," he told them.
Three U.S. Navy SEALs arrived at the family's house Saturday to tell them Petty Officer Michael Strange was among the dead.
"Michael loved protecting our country", Strange says. His son was 25 years old, and due to come home from active duty in November.
"We were very proud of him. And he succeeded with the SEALS. He became an E-6 in four years. Four years." That means Michael Strange moved up six ranks in his short SEAL career.
"That's how dedicated he was," Strange said.
Strange was one of 22 members of Navy SEAL Team Six killed when their Chinook helicopter went down Friday night.
John McGuire, a SEAL from 1988 to 1998, says this has been a difficult weekend. "Unfortunately, it was the largest loss of life for the Navy SEALs right now."
At the SEALs proving ground in Virginia Beach, Dam Neck Training Center, there is a profound sense of loss.
"It's horrible. It is," says Belinda Arredondo, who works at a restaurant frequented by SEALs and their families. "It's really, other than cry, you really don't know what else to do really. I mean it's sad."
Eight Afghan commandos were also killed in the crash just west of the capital, Kabul.
"It was hit by the Taliban, it was a big helicopter", says an Afghan man, who lives near the impact site.
"After it crashed, it caught fire, a huge fire. We were not able to come out during the night because the Americans were around."
Authorities now say the rescue team had just finished subduing attackers who had a Ranger unit pinned down.
They were flying out when the chopper was hit, likely by a rocket-propelled grenade.
"He knew what he was getting into," says Charles Strange Jr., the fallen SEAL's brother. "It was something. He was trained for it. It was something he wanted."
McGuire says the website is providing support for families of SEALs killed in combat.
But he also says all this loss of life is part of the price of a war on terror.
"We go through all the emotions that any American goes through," McGuire says. "But you know you have to deal with it. You have to get the job done."
Donations can be made to:
Navy SEAL Foundation at
Armed Forces Relief Trust at
Special Operations Warrior Foundation at
Wounded EOD Warrior Foundation at

$10,000 donation in response to August 6, 2011 helicopter crash in Afghanistan

by The Boot Campaign on Monday, August 8, 2011 at 9:09pm

Boot Campaign Donates to United Warrior Survivor Foundation

Tyler, TX (August 8, 2011) – On Saturday, August 6, 2011 30 American Soldiers, including 25 Special Operations Forces, were killed in a helicopter crash in eastern Afghanistan.  It is with our deepest sympathies that the Boot Campaign wishes to support the needs of surviving spouses of Special Operations personnel.

The Boot Campaign is making an initial donation of $10,000 to the United Warrior Survivor Foundation.  In addition, proceeds from the Boot Campaign’s Signature “give back” combat boots sold in the month of August will be donated to the United Warrior Survivor Foundation.

“We feel strongly that it is our obligation to respond in this time of need, and we are grateful that the Boot Campaign can offer immediate assistance when our military and their families need us most. It is our sincere desire that this donation will help offer comfort to surviving spouses in the days and weeks to come,” said Boot Campaign Executive Director Sherri Reuland.

Funds donated to the United Warrior Survivor Foundation will be put to use in the immediate response to surviving spouses of Special Operations personnel. This response includes providing Comfort Bags to widows and travel for loved ones and UWSF mentors to be with grieving spouses. 

About Boot Campaign

The Boot Campaign is a grassroots military appreciation and veteran awareness campaign started by five women from Texas, known as the Boot Girls. The Boot Girls launched the Boot Campaign in 2009 to spread awareness of the needs of military personnel returning home from combat and express gratitude to current military.  Through the sale of military combat boots, The Boot Campaign donates proceeds to a group of partner veteran’s charities that work with soldiers healing from a variety of physical and emotional combat wounds, embodying the campaign motto that “When They Come Back, We Give Back”.  For more information about the campaign and to purchase a pair of “give back” combat boots visit

About United Warrior Survivor Foundation

The United Warrior Survivor Foundation (UWSF) was founded in 2002 in direct response to the loss of life in the Global War on Terror.  It was established as an organization exclusively dedicated to serving the needs of the surviving spouses of Navy, Army, Air Force and Marine Corps Special Operations personnel killed in the line of duty since September 11, 2001.  More information about UWSF can be found at   

Contact:               Meghan McDermott Roth

This is sad for all involved. As the story emerges, may we all remember to Honor these Warriors, and send your Prayers to their loved ones, who are now with out their Warrior who gave the ultimate gift for our Freedoms. God Bless them and their Families.

Updates as they occur.

This link is to a little more about Aaron and his Grandmothers comments.

 Aaron with his 2 week old daughter just before he re-deployed.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Elite Navy SEALs member Aaron Carson Vaughn had asked the military to return him to combat and shipped out just six weeks before he was killed when a U.S. military helicopter was shot down in Afghanistan, killing 38, including 22 SEALs.
Vaughn’s grandmother, Geneva Vaughn of Union City, Tenn., told The Associated Press on Saturday that her grandson, a Tennessee native, had wanted to be a SEAL since he was a child and returned to combat just two weeks after his 2-month-old daughter was born this summer.
Geneva Vaughn says he was already a decorated fighter when he was asked by the Navy to return stateside to become an instructor. He chafed under the assignment and applied to SEAL Team 6. Military authorities notified the family of his death.

Aaron Carson Vaughn

Aaron Vaughn's wife Kimberly told CNN Sunday, “I want to tell the world that he was an amazing man, that he was a wonderful husband. And a fabulous father to two wonderful children. He was a warrior for our country and he wouldn't want to leave this earth."
Aaron Carson Vaughn, 30, joined the Navy SEALS right out of boot camp and joined SEAL Team 6 in 2010. Vaughn leaves behind his wife Kimberly, a Fairfax county native, and two children, a 2-year-old son and a 2-month-old daughter.

Aaron Carson Vaughn

Aaron Vaughn and his wife Kimberly. Vaughn deployed two weeks after welcoming his daughter into the world

John W. Brown

John Brown’s mother called the 25-year-old Arkansas man “Rambo without the attitude.” The Air Force Tech Sergeant was a medic attached to the SEAL unit who had wanted to go to medical school before enlisting. Arkansas state Rep. Jon Woods, who went to high school with Brown, said, “when I think of the perfect soldier it’s John Brown."

Jon Tumilson

Jon Tumilson, 35, from Rockford, Iowa, "was going to be a Navy SEAL since I can't remember when," said Jan Stowe, a neighbor to the Tumilson family for more than 30 years. "He's like a hero to everyone here."

Kevin Houston

Kevin Houston, 36, from Barnstable, Mass, was a father of three who enlisted right out of high school to pursue his dream of being a Navy SEAL. “He said hi, I’m Kevin and I’m going to be a Navy SEAL,” friend Joe Kennedy remembers. Raised by a single mother, he was the captain of his high school football and basketball teams
Piloting was 31 year old Chief Warrant Officer 2 Bryan Nichols’ dream, The Kansas City Star reports. He became one of his unit’s best, a rising star in its stable of skilled pilots. He was married with a ten-year-old son, Braydon. The Kansas native was just two weeks from coming home on leave.

Johm Douangdara 

At 26, Johm Douangdara was the lead dog handler for the elite SEAL Team Six, his family says. A 2003 South Sioux City, Neb., High School graduate, the the son of Laotian immigrants dreamed of joining the Navy. "I didn't even know Johnny was a Navy SEAL," his mother Sengchanh Douangdara said. "I know that he loved his job, it was a job he chose.”

 Tommy Ratzlaff

It was Tommy Ratzlaff’s childhood dream to be in the military, his relatives told Arkansas TV station KY3. The 34-year-old joined the Navy in 1995, starting SEAL training the next year. He leaves behind two sons, ages 6 and 11, and his wife, who is pregnant with a baby girl due in November. Ratzlaff’s sister told the TV station, "Tommy would want the focus of his sacrifice to be on the cause, not on the sacrifice itself."

Dan Zerbe

Dan Zerbe, 28, is from Red Lion, Penn., where he graduated in 2001 from Red Lion High School. He played football, wrestled and was on the weightlifting team. His friend Mike Vogel told ABC7’s sister station WHTM-TV in Harrisburg that the Air Force Staff Sergeant was an “absolute hero.” "Definitely one of the bravest guys,” Vogel said, “He was so proud he was serving his country.”
Matt Mason
Matt Mason, 37, was member of Seal Team Six from Kearney, Mo., KMBC-TV reports. He was a married father of two, with a third child on the way. “Badly wounded in the infamous Battle of Fallujah, Mason had worked his way back into the sort of elite shape required by the elite military unit,” The Omaha World-Herald reports. The Kearney Courier newspaper adds Mason graduated from his local high school in 1992 and from Northwest Missouri State University in 1998.

Kraig Vickers

Kraig Vickers, 36, was a Navy Bomb Disposal Specialist and had served for 15 years. He leaves behind his pregnant wife Nani and their three children in Norfolk, Va., according to the AP. Those who knew him say he was a fearless, intelligent, and easygoing family man. Talking to ABC Affiliate KITV in Maui, Vickers father Robert said, “For him it was God first, his country and his family.”

Robert Reeves

Chief Petty Officer Robert Reeves, 32, died alongside a good friend he’d grown up with in Shreveport, La. He and Lt. Commander Jonas Kelsall, 33, were both on the doomed chopper. Reeves became a SEAL in 1999, and was a member of SEAL Team 6, earning four Bronze Stars for Valor.

Spencer Duncan
Army Specialist Spencer Duncan was the door gunner on the Army Chinook Helicopter. The 21-year-old is a graduate of Olathe South High School in Olathe, Kansas. He joined the Army in 2008, and had been deployed since May. Friends consoled each other in front of Duncan’s high school Sunday. His family released a statement saying they are proud of their son’s service. "We just can't even grip that this is real but we just know he died doing what he wanted to do," friend Mikayla Dreyer told ABC Affiliate, KMBC-TV in Kansas City.

Matt Mills

Matt Mills, 36, was a recently married father of three who had served in the Navy for about 14 years. He saw combat every year since the war in Afghanistan began, his family told KEYE-TV in Austin. They described him as humble and funny. J.B. Abbott, Mills’ Counsin, said, “he served his country with pride. He loved his brothers he fought with. He was a loving person…he was a very respectful person.”

Jonas Kelsall

Lt. Commander Jonas Kelsall, 33, was one of the first members of SEAL Team 7, and had trained in San Diego. Kelsall’s father says his son met his wife of three years while studying at the University of Texas.

Jason Workman
Petty Officer First Class Jason Workman, 32, had always wanted to be a Navy SEAL. He grew up in the small town of Blanding, Utah, but made his home in Virginia Beach with his wife and 21-month-old son. Described as smart, athletic and outgoing, his childhood friend Tate Bennett told Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, “We are so proud of someone like Jason being from a small town to become an elite special forces soldier. “His family is extremely heartbroken right now,” Blanding Mayor Toni Turke told ABC4 in Salt Lake.

Brian Bill
Brian Bill, 31, hoped to return to school and one day become an astronaut, the Associated Press reports. He was already a pilot, a mountain climber and a triathlete. "He set his standards high," Kimberly Hess, a friend who graduated with him in 2001 from Vermont's Norwich University, told The Advocate newspaper. "He was remarkably gifted and very thoughtful. There wasn't anything he wouldn't do for you no matter the time or day." The Stamford, Ct., native had just been promoted to Chief Petty Officer his family says. "Brian had so many dreams and things he wanted to do," his father Scott Bill told the Herald-Tribune. "We're very proud of everything he accomplished."

Alexander Bennett
Army Spc. Alexander Bennett, 23, had earned a reputation for his pranks on Marines and soldiers, the Sacramento Bee reports. After a 2009 deployment in Iraq, he moved from the Tacoma, Wash., area to Overland Park, Kansas, to be a flight mechanic. Friend Jessica Hall told KOMO-TV in Seattle that the 2005 Foss High School graduate had always wanted to be in the Military "I never met somebody that loved to do something as much as he did," Hall said. "He was so selfless.”

Darrik Benson

Darrik Benson, 28, was born and raised in Angwin, a small town in Napa County, Calif. Friends say he was one of only 19 to finish his SEAL class in 2003. The Napa Valley Register says Benson family spokesperson Jodi Kelly told the paper the family is “devastated.”


The Death of Osama Bin Laden, an account based on Seals account.

OSAMA BIN LADEN was killed within 90 seconds of the US Navy Seals landing in his compound and not after a protracted gun battle, according to the first account by the men who carried out the raid. The operation was so clinical that only 12 bullets were fired.
The Seals have spoken out because they were angered at the version given by politicians, which they see as portraying them as cold-blooded murderers on a “kill mission”. They were also shocked that President Barack Obama announced bin Laden’s death on television the same evening, rendering useless much of the intelligence they had seized.
Chuck Pfarrer, a former commander of Seal Team 6, which conducted the operation, has interviewed many of those who took part for a book, Seal Target Geronimo, to be published in the US this week.
The Seals’ own accounts differ from the White House version, which gave the impression that bin Laden was killed at the end of the operation rather than in its opening seconds. Pfarrer insists bin Laden would have been captured had he surrendered.
“There isn’t a politician in the world who could resist trying to take credit for getting bin Laden but it devalued the ‘intel’ and gave time for every other al-Qa’ida leader to scurry to another bolthole,” said Pfarrer. “The men who did this and their valorous act deserve better. It’s a pretty shabby way to treat these guys.”
The first hint of the mission came in January last year when the team’s commanding officer was called to a meeting at the headquarters of joint special operations command. The meeting was held in a soundproof bunker three storeys below ground with his boss, Admiral William McRaven, and a CIA officer.
They told him a walled compound in Pakistan had been under surveillance for a couple of weeks. They were certain a high-value individual was inside and needed a plan to present to the president.
It had to be someone important. “So is this Bert or Ernie?” he asked. The Seals’ nicknames for bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri are a reference to two Muppets in Sesame Street, one tall and thin and the other short and fat. “We have a voice print,” said the CIA officer, “and we’re 60 per cent or 70 per cent certain it’s our guy.” McRaven added that a reconnaissance satellite had measured the target’s shadow. “Over 6ft tall.”
When McRaven added they would use Ghost Hawk helicopters, the team leader had no doubt. “These are the most classified, sophisticated stealth helicopters ever developed,” said Pfarrer. “They are kept in locked hangars and fly so quiet we call it ‘whisper mode’

Over the next couple of months a plan was hatched. A mock-up of the compound was built at Tall Pines, an army facility in a national forest somewhere in the eastern US.
Four reconnaissance satellites were placed in orbit over the compound, sending back video and communications intercepts. A tall figure seen walking up and down was named “the Pacer”.
Mr Obama gave the go-ahead and Seal Team 6, known as the Jedi, was deployed to Afghanistan. The White House cancelled plans to provide air cover using jet fighters, fearing this might endanger relations with Pakistan.
Sending in the Ghost Hawks without air cover was considered too risky so the Seals had to use older Stealth Hawks. A Prowler electronic warfare aircraft from the carrier USS Carl Vinson was used to jam Pakistan’s radar and create decoy targets.
Operation Neptune’s Spear was initially planned for April 30 but bad weather delayed it until May 1, a moonless night. The commandos flew on two Stealth Hawks, codenamed Razor 1 and 2, followed by two Chinooks five minutes behind, known as “Command Bird” and the “gun platform”.
On board, each Seal was clad in body armour and nightvision goggles and equipped with laser targets, radios and sawn-off M4 rifles. They were expecting up to 30 people in the main house, including Bin Laden and three of his wives, two sons, Khalid and Hamza, his courier, Abu Ahmed al- Kuwaiti, four bodyguards and a number of children. At 56 minutes past midnight the compound came into sight and the code “Palm Beach” signalled three minutes to landing.
Razor 1 hovered above the main house, a three-storey building where bin Laden lived on the top floor. Twelve Seals abseiled the two metres down onto the roof and then jumped to a third-floor patio, where they kicked in the windows and entered.
The first person the Seals encountered was a terrified woman, bin Laden’s third wife, Khaira, who ran into the hall. Blinded by a searing white strobe light they shone at her, she stumbled back. A Seal grabbed her by the arm and threw her to the floor.
Bin Laden’s bedroom was along a short hall. The door opened; he popped out and then slammed the door shut. “Geronimo, Geronimo, Geronimo,” radioed one Seal, meaning “eyes on target”.
At the same time lights came on from the floor below and bin Laden’s son Khalid came running up the stairs towards the Seals. He was shot dead.

Two Seals kicked in bin Laden’s door. The room, they later recalled, “smelt like old clothing, like a guest bedroom in a grandmother’s house”. Inside was the al-Qa’ida leader and his youngest wife, Amal, who was screaming as he pushed her in front of him.
“No, no, don’t do this!” she shouted as her husband reached across the king-size bed for his AK-47 assault rifle. The Seals reacted instantly, firing in the same second. One round thudded into the mattress. The other, aimed at bin Laden’s head, grazed Amal in the calf. As his hand reached for the gun, they each fired again: one shot hit his breastbone, the other his skull, killing him instantly and blowing out the back of his head.
Meanwhile Razor 2 was heading for the guesthouse, a low, shoebox-like building, where bin Laden’s courier, Kuwaiti, and his brother lived.
As the helicopter neared, a door opened and two figures appeared, one waving an AK-47. This was Kuwaiti. In the moonless night he could see nothing and lifted his rifle, spraying bullets wildly.
He did not see the Stealth Hawk. On board someone shouted, “Bust him!”, and a sniper fired two shots. Kuwaiti was killed, as was the person behind him, who turned out to be his wife. Also on board were a CIA agent, a Pakistani- American who would act as interpreter, and a sniffer dog called Karo, wearing dog body armour and goggles.
Within two minutes the Seals from Razor 2 had cleared the guesthouse and removed the women and children.
They then ran to the main house and entered from the ground floor, checking the rooms. One of bin Laden’s bodyguards was waiting with his AK-47. The Seals shot him twice and he toppled over.
Five minutes into the operation the command Chinook landed outside the compound, disgorging the commanding officer and more men. They blasted through the compound wall and rushed in.
The commander made his way to the third floor, where bin Laden’s body lay on the floor face up. Photographs were taken, and the commander called on his satellite phone to headquarters with the words: “Geronimo Echo KIA” – bin Laden enemy killed in action.
“This was the first time the White House knew he was dead and it was probably 20 minutes into the raid,” said Pfarrer.
A sample of bin Laden’s DNA was taken and the body was bagged. They kept his rifle. It is now mounted on the wall of their team room at their headquarters in Virginia Beach, Virginia, alongside photographs of a dozen colleagues killed in action in the past 20 years.
At this point things started to go wrong. Razor 1 took off but the top secret “green unit” that controls the electronics failed. The aircraft went into a spin and crashed tail-first into the compound.
The Seals were alarmed, thinking it had been shot down, and several rushed to the wreckage. The crew climbed out, shaken but unharmed.
The commanding officer ordered them to destroy Razor 2, to remove the green unit, and to smash the avionics. They then laid explosive charges.
They loaded bin Laden’s body onto the Chinook along with the cache of intelligence in plastic bin bags and headed toward the USS Carl Vinson. As they flew off they blew up Razor 2. The whole operation had taken 38 minutes.
The following morning White House officials announced that the helicopter had crashed as it arrived, forcing the Seals to abandon plans to enter from the roof. A photograph of the situation room showed a shocked Hillary Clinton, the secretary of state, with her hand to her mouth.
Why did they get it so wrong?
What they were watching was live video but it was shot from 20,000ft by a drone circling overhead and relayed in real time to the White House and Leon Panetta, the CIA director, in Langley. The Seals were not wearing helmet cameras, and those watching in Washington had no idea what was happening inside the buildings.
“They don’t understand our terminology, so when someone said the ‘insertion helicopter’ has crashed, they assumed it meant on entry,” said Pfarrer.
What infuriated the Seals, according to Pfarrer, was the description of the raid as a kill mission. “I’ve been a Seal for 30 years and I never heard the words ‘kill mission’,” he said. “It’s a Beltway (Washington insider’s) fantasy word. If it was a kill mission you don’t need Seal Team 6; you need a box of hand grenades.”