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The Story Behind the Four Horsemen of 9/11

Within weeks of the events of September 11, 2001 there were American troops in Afghanistan. They were Special Forces Operators and they were there secretly. But what they did and how they operated there was like something out of the 19th century. They were dressed as Afghans, had grown their beards to blend in with the local population, and they moved through the difficult terrain of the Afghan mountains on horseback.

They were the four horseman of 9/11.

Their mission was as dangerous as they come and without precedent. They were responsible for synchronizing tribal warfare against Taliban and Al-Qaeda forces with local Afghan warlords. They were four men alone in one of the most dangerous places in the world.

Lt. Colonel Bowers, was the commander who picked the other three personally. Master Sergeant Bart Deck, a Special Operations Forward Air Controller, called in all the bombing missions. Sergeant 1st Class Joe Young, an Army Special Forces Command Green Beret medic and sniper, and Master Sergeant Chris Spence, a 5th Special Forces Group communications expert, provided support.

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This video is about their collective and individual stories, and about Dow Bloomberg’s artistic creation of a bronze statue that memorializes the courageous efforts of these Special Operators in Afghanistan on behalf of all of us so soon after 9/11. The Statue is now a part of the sacred grounds at the Ground Zero Memorial Park in New York City. The statue includes a bit of earth the four men brought home with them from Afghanistan. Bowers actually took a small piece of one of the Twin Towers with him on the mission. It now is buried in the ground of Afghanistan, wrapped in an American flag.


We thank these four horsemen for their service to the country and artist Dow Bloomberg for his beautiful piece of work.


We remember!

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Dan Doyle is a husband, father, grandfather, Vietnam veteran, and retired professor of Humanities at Seattle University. He taught 13 years at the high school level and 22 years at the university level. He spends his time now babysitting his granddaughter. He is a poet and a blogger as well. Dan holds an AA degree in English Literature, a BA in Comparative Literature, and an MA in Theology, and writes regularly for The Veterans Site blog.