Battle of Mogadishu heroes receive Silver Stars at Fort Benning

COLUMBUS, Ga (WTVM) – This is one of the most famous battles in military history and the Rangers involved were trained at Fort Benning. More than a dozen heroes who fought in the Battle of Mogadishu were recently honored in our region.

As shown in a recent re-enactment at Fort Benning and in the movie “Black Hawk Down”, the Battle of Mogadishu was one of the fiercest urban fights since the Vietnam War. It took place in Somalia in early October 1993, where 18 Americans died, 80 injured.

“I think most of us didn’t know the extent of enemy fire, the number of enemy fighters we were facing until we faced it. Like a classic Ranger competition, you just respond to what lies ahead and give your best, ”said MAJ (retired) Jeff Struecker, who fought in the Battle of Mogadishu.

Roadblocks, smoke, gunfire and helicopters were part of the Army installation’s re-enactment this month, as a narrator recounts the story of that battle from 28 years ago. years ago: “A flying Black Hawk helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade and crashed. “

Nearly three decades later, the Special Ops and Ranger Regiment men who fought there returned to Fort Benning for a reunion and reconnaissance.

CSM (retired) Sean Watson, who also fought in the Battle of Mogadishu, said: “I felt very lucky that I was never again in the extreme position I was in Somalia. Was I prepared for it? Yes.”

“I have never seen heroism like I witnessed in Mogadishu, Somalia. The guys I’ve seen in these city streets, haven’t seen anything like this before or since, ”added Struecker.

Taking step 1 by 1, the army chiefs awarded Silver Stars to 18 retired soldiers who were part of Mogadishu. It is the Armed Forces’ third highest military decoration for bravery in combat.

“Some people I’ve always held in high regard are finally getting the recognition they deserve,” Struecker said.

“I call each of them a close friend, I love each of them,” Watson told us.

And to all the young rangers and NCOs watching this ceremony, admiring the heroes who came before them, retired Major Jeff Struecker’s advice is to prepare: “As the global war on terror draws to a close. you should now be ready for anything, anywhere. , at any time.”

His team agreed that the advice they received – believe in yourself and believe in your training – helped them survive in Mogadishu.

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