HOT SPRINGS, Ark. (KTHV) - Seven years ago today was the largest single loss of life in the history of US Special Forces. A helicopter shot down in Afghanistan. All 38 people onboard were killed. 15 of them were part of the Navy's elite SEAL Team Six.
This past weekend, a group of injured veterans and first responders got a chance to pay tribute to those who died.
Members of Sheep Dog Impact Assistance dove into Lake Ouachita to explore what's called Fearless Rock. It's an underwater memorial set up for SEAL Team Six member and Hot Springs native Adam Brown. Adam was killed in Afghanistan. There were 17 SEALs with Adam when he died. Thirteen of them were killed when their helicopter was shot down seven years ago.
Each of those SEALs now has a stone, with their name, right alongside their former teammate, Adam.
While this weekend was a time to show respect for the fallen, it was also a chance for these men and women to heal emotionally.
"When we get to spend time with them," says Will Stevens, founder of Fearless Rock, "maybe for a few hours not have to think about things that they've been through, that's what it's worth."
"We got on that boat today," said former Army combat medic Daryl Versey, "I didn't know any of those people. But I was comfortable with all of them. Being with these guys, we shared stories, we talked about some things. Combat will bring a lot of people close. We've all had fun experiences, we've all had traumatic experiences, and we've all sustained injuries. So it kind of helps us to release a little bit when we talk to each other and to hear someone else's story. And sometimes, theirs is worse than mine."
The underwater memorial is expanding. Stevens told Rob Evans he and his group are going to start planning the next phase, to honor every Arkansan who has been killed in the military since 9-11.
Much more on that story, coming up later this week on THV11 this morning.