Not all Navy SEAL missions have ended in success. On Aug. 6, 2011, Afghan insurgents shot down a U.S. helicopter in Wardak, Afghanistan, killing eight Afghans and 30 Americans, including 22 Navy SEALs, many of whom belonged to SEAL Team 6. The SEALs had been on their way to provide backup to troops involved in a firefight in eastern Afghanistan, and after the crash the same troops left the battle in order to provide perimeter security for the crash site. President Obama said, “Their deaths are a reminder of the extraordinary sacrifices made by the men and women of our military and their families, including all who have served in Afghanistan.” It was the largest loss of life in a single day in SEAL history.
In this photo, a hearse arrives at Rosecrans National Cemetery carrying the body of Navy Petty Officer First Class Jesse D. Pittman, on Aug. 30, 2011. Pittman had been aboard the helicopter.