A U.S. Special Operations Command operator has died in a hostage rescue in Afghanistan. On Dec. 4 American commandos freed Dr. Dilip Joseph of the aid group Morning Star Development following the doctor’s abduction by militants. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta released a statement:
I want to commend the U.S. Special Operations team who rescued an American citizen captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan. I was deeply saddened to learn that a U.S. service member was killed in the operation, and I also want to extend my condolences to his family, teammates and friends. The special operators who conducted this raid knew they were putting their lives on the line to free a fellow American from the enemy’s grip. They put the safety of another American ahead of their own, as so many of our brave warriors do every day and every night. In this fallen hero, and all of our special operators, Americans see the highest ideals of citizenship, sacrifice and service upheld. The torch of freedom burns brighter because of them.