SWC (DEVGRU) Chief Petty Officer Brian R. Bill, 31, of Stamford, CT
Pilot in Command 158th Aviation Regiment, CW2 Bryan J. Nichols, 31, Hays, KS
Special Warfare Operator (DEVGRU) PO1 Darrik C. Benson, 28, Angwin, CA
SWO PO1 (DEVGRU/Parachutist) Christopher Campbell, 36, Jacksonville, N.C.
At 26, John "Jet Li" Douangdara was the son of Laotian immigrants and the lead dog handler for the elite SEAL Team Six. After John died, a family friend went before the city council and asked them if they would name the dog park section of Siouxland Freedom Park after his brother. Today a statue of John and his German Shepard Bart stand watch forever guarding the residents of South Sioux City, Nebraska.
Darrick hated the water - not a good thing if you want to become a US Navy SEAL. His grandmother remembers seeing him standing beside her backyard pool when he was 4 years old. "He just stared at the other kids unwilling to take a dip," she said. "He didn't want to get in over his belly button." So, she threw him in. Eventually, he learned how to swim and got his hands on some plastic SEAL action figures, and it was all over. Years later, after he had graduated from High School and joined the Navy SEAL program, buddies asked Benson where he had learned to swim so well. "My grandma taught me," he said. Derrik’s was known by those he knew him, friends family and his fiancée, to be driven, focused, brave and determined. Darrik would carry those traits to a point of excellence - whether it was an elite warrior or commercial pilot. When Darrik Benson headed back to Afghanistan in June, he carried with him, as he always did, his two year old's toy airplane tucked in his pack. Among items recovered in the wreckage was a small plastic toy airplane.
MA1 (Expeditionary Warfare Specialist) John Douangdara, 26, South Sioux City, Neb.
Brian is one of America's greatest warriors and was selected as a member of DEVGRU more commonly known as SEAL Team Six. Brian was the only one in his BUDS class to complete every test in the dive phase first time every time. Brian was a skilled fly-fisherman, skier and skydiver. He was an accomplished mountaineer with successful summits of Aconcagua in Argentina and Mount Elbrus in Russia. He had completed several marathons and obtained his commercial pilot’s license. He independently studied Russian and became fluent in French. He taught himself to play the piano and guitar and he also worked as a florist. He was different from most of us – he was a man of dreams and he made his dreams a reality. His friends and family knew he was driven to excel for love of family, God, and country. Brain was a private man a humble man who never sought personal embellishments or recognition. Read more about Brian and The Brian Bill Memorial Fund here.
A 10 year old boy was in the car with his mother running errands one day and brushed back his dirty-blond hair as he ran his hand over his cheek to wipe his tears. Jessica Nichols looked over when she heard sniffles. Her son was crying, "When is Dad coming back so we go camping?" he asked her. Soon, she assured him. "Your dad is off fighting for this country." The boy replied, "As soon as he gets home, we're going to go on a camping trip, just me and him." Jessica Nichols cannot stop replaying that scene in her mind. That's because only a few days later, on Saturday night, she was cradling her boy who was crying once again. Except this time she could not tell him that his father was coming home.
In his will Chris told his family that if he was killed in the line of duty, he wanted to pay it forward to those he served. He requested that people give in his memory to help others. Chris saw The Wounded Warrior Project as that medium. In an email to his daughter Samantha sent days before the crash, Campbell wrote that he was looking forward to coming home in November and celebrating her 15th birthday in January.