It always hits home when we see fellow service members make the ultimate sacrifice. For many Americans, the war in Afghanistan couldn’t be further away, both in their minds and in their hearts. Since the drawdown, there has been less to report as our military has taken on a primary advisory role and limited its combat actions to only that which is conducted alongside Afghan counterparts.

Whereas this has significantly reduced the number of Americans killed in action since, it still doesn’t mean that the war is over. The danger is still present and we saw this first hand with the recent notification that two Green Berets who were killed in action in Afghanistan recently.

We owe it to ourselves and our community to help spread their stories. Brave men doing brave things for other people — and giving their lives in the process.


The Recent Incident

After the families were notified, the DOD released a statement about the tragic loss. SFC Ryan Gloyer and CPT Andrew Byers were the individuals who sacrificed their lives so that others may live. They were in an incident working with Afghan forces.

They were in a train, advise and assist mission targeting a Taliban stronghold in order to disrupt operations in the Kunduz. The raid was very successful, despite its very high cost, including 26 Afghan civilians and three Afghan soldiers.

The raid ended with the deaths of two senior Taliban commanders who were vigorously pursued and some 63 other Taliban.


The Men Themselves

SFC Gloyer had been in the Army since 2004 and had deployed to Afghanistan three times prior. His time in Special Forces had him operating all over the planet during his career. CPT Byers joined in 2008 and had served one tour in Afghanistan. They both had also served in the Democratic Republic of Congo for a time. They were both serving under 10th Special Forces Group at the time of the raid on November 2nd.


Keeping Their Memory

SFC Gloyer and CPT Byers are a stark reminder that, even in times of relative peace, our military is still out there doing the tough job of keeping the world secure. It’s up to us as a community to keep the candle burning in their memory, to tell their stories and to live in a way that honors their sacrifice.

The Global War on Terror has claimed thousands of lives in the past two decades. It’s more important than ever that we continue to tell these stories and not simply let them play on as “just another news story.” How we remember them says a great deal about the commitment we have to our own principles and our very own sacred honor.

Those of us who returned have a duty to make the world a better place for the memories and families of those who couldn’t make it back. And we have to remind ourselves every so often to take the time to appreciate the world and show gratitude to the sacrifice of such men as SFC Gloyer and CPT Byers for being able to live the lives we live in the greatest nation on the planet.