These simple words are hand painted on a stone that lays at the base of the grave marker for Navy SEAL Heath Michael Robinson. Together with the date of death etched on the marker, one immediately understands. August 6, 2011 was the day our nation suffered the single largest loss of U.S. troops since we first entered Afghanistan more than ten years ago.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Robinson was from Detroit, Michigan. In 1996 he enlisted in the Navy after graduating from Petoskey High School. Heath completed his SEAL training in 2000. By the time of the September 11th attacks, Heath was a part of SEAL Team Seven. In 2004 he trained with the Naval Special Warfare Development Group and afterwards was selected to be a special warfare operator.
August 6, 2011 found Heath onboard a Boeing CH-47 Chinook helicopter with twenty-one of his SEAL brothers. They were providing reinforcements to a team of U.S. Army Rangers who were engaged in a night time raid on a Taliban compound. At approximately 1:00am local time the Chinook was hit by what is believed to be a rocket propelled grenade. Heath and his fellow SEALS perished along with five U.S. soldiers and three U.S. airmen.
Heath Robinson was a highly decorated combat veteran. His awards included the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart Medal, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal with Valor, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Combat Action Ribbon, Presidential Unit Citation, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Heath Robinson dedicated his life to preserving the freedom of his countrymen. We honor him for his sacrifice. His widow and young daughter are forever in our thoughts and prayers.
Thanks Heath – from a grateful nation.