NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nine years ago, I stood near a runway at Fort Campbell staring at the night sky. My husband, Major Tye Reedy, and troops with the 101st Airborne Division were scheduled to touch down at any moment.
“Serving in the 101st Airborne Division is an absolute honor of a lifetime,” said Reedy. “Having served with them in Afghanistan, and it being such a historic and storied division, is something I will cherish forever. We went through a lot of tough times together.”
This was Tye’s third deployment. His year-long tour was coming to an end. Then came Operation Strong Eagle 3. Four-hundred U.S. and 300 Afghan National Army soldiers were airlifted into a remote mountain valley near the border of Pakistan that served as the headquarters for a top Taliban and al Qaeda leader, Qari Zia Rahman.
“When a top target like that pops up, you can’t waste any time. Even though we were supposed to return home in two weeks, we still planned a mission that was only supposed to last two days. We ended up being wrong,” explained Reedy.
The intense firefight stretched on for hours. The mission lasted nine days, around the clock, and even though hail. The soldiers pressed forward. Footage of the mission was captured by war correspondent, Mike Boettcher and turned into a feature film called, The Hornet’s Nest.
In the end, six U.S. soldiers were killed in action and at least 15 others were wounded. The fallen’s names now marked forever on a wall at Division Headquarters at Fort Campbell honoring those who gave their all.
“We lost great warriors on that mission, but more importantly, they were outstanding men,” said Reedy.
I often think about those to the left and right of my husband on that mission, and the many that came before. Those who are far braver than I, willing to leave their loved ones and head straight to the fight.
“I just pray that I live my life, and we live our life, and raise our children in such a manner that honors those warriors and all veterans past and present,” Reedy said.
On this Veterans Day I say to my husband, and to all who’ve defend freedom, thank you for your service.