Veteran’s Day Tribute: “12 Strong” America’s Horse Soldiers

“Each and every Veteran’s Day we attempt to highlight equine bravery that has helped to keep this country free and with that said, we usually land on telling the story of Sgt. Reckless, a little mare that attained the rank of Sgt. in the Marine Corp. during the Korean war.  But there have been so many other horses who have served bravely and some not all that long ago.  Which brings us to the upcoming release of the movie “12 STRONG” the unclassified true story of America’s first soldiers to enter Afghanistan after 9/11 and they did it on horseback.

We are not hyping a movie but instead applauding the telling of an important tale where horses were one of the most important components of battling for America’s freedom and sovereignty.

To all my fellow veterans, (both 2 and 4 legged) thank you for your sacrifice, your service and the pledge that you made to your commander-in-chief, country and God.  You are the backbone of our freedom and independence while being true role models for generations to come.  For you I stand with pride and tears in my eyes during the playing of the National Anthem.  May God bless you all.” ~ R.T.


Chris Hemsworth (“Thor,” “The Avengers” films) and Oscar nominee Michael Shannon (“Revolutionary Road,” “Nocturnal Animals”) star in “12 Strong,” a powerful new war drama from Alcon Entertainment, Black Label Media and Jerry Bruckheimer Films. Based on the best-selling book Horse Soldiers, it is story of heroism based on true events that unfolded a world away in the aftermath of 9/11.

Award-winning director Nicolai Fuglsig directed the film, which is produced by legendary producer Jerry Bruckheimer (the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films, “Black Hawk Down”), together with Molly Smith, Trent Luckinbill and Thad Luckinbill (“La La Land,” “Sicario”) under their Black Label Media banner. Oscar winner Ted Tally (“The Silence of the Lambs”) and Peter Craig (“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Parts 1 & 2”) wrote the screenplay, based on the acclaimed book by best-selling author Doug Stanton. The executive producers are Oscar nominees and Alcon principals Andrew A. Kosove and Broderick Johnson (“The Blind Side”), together with Chad Oman, Mike Stenson, Ellen H. Schwartz, Garrett Grant, Yale Badik, Val Hill and Doug Stanton.

“12 Strong” is set in the harrowing days following 9/11 when a U.S. Special Forces team, led by their new Captain, Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth), is chosen to be the first U.S. troops sent into Afghanistan for an extremely dangerous mission. There, in the rugged mountains, they must convince Northern Alliance General Dostum (Navid Negahban) to join forces with them to fight their common adversary: the Taliban and their Al Qaeda allies. In addition to overcoming mutual distrust and a vast cultural divide, the Americans—accustomed to state-of-the-art warfare—must adopt the rudimentary tactics of the Afghan horse soldiers. But despite their uneasy bond, the new allies face overwhelming odds: outnumbered and outgunned by a ruthless enemy that does not take prisoners.

Memorial Weekend Video Special: The Horse Soldiers of 9/11

Source: Multiple

“It is not only ‘Feel Good Sunday’ but also Memorial Day weekend where we honor those who have paid the ultimate price so as to ensure our freedom, safety and way of life for our families and friends.  Today we look at horses, of course, while tomorrow we take a look at women who have fought for our liberty and far too often have gone unrecognized. 

We have written about the World War II Equine heroine, Sgt. Reckless, many times but today we fast forward in history to 9/11 and bring you a story about horses that were trained to run ‘towards’ gunfire and bombs in an effort to be the very first soldiers to fight the war against terrorism.

As a veteran of two armed conflicts who has lost friends and colleagues myself and SFTHH are pleased to bring you Alex Quade’s gripping video documentary about the first American servicemen to enter after the terror attacks. This report earned TheDC the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Award, along with the American Legion’s Fourth Estate Award and a Bronze Telly Award.  Keep the Faith.” ~ R.T.

” They rode horses into combat”
Click (HERE) or on Image to view Video

Click (HERE) or on Image to view Video

It was the news the world breathlessly waited for immediately after the 9/11 terror attacks: a report of the first American troops on the ground in Afghanistan.

All at once the world’s attention focused on an iconic photo of those Special Operations Forces doing something no American military had done in nearly a century: They rode horses into combat.

Their secret mission: secure northern Afghanistan by advising the warring tribal factions that formed the Northern Alliance. During the 2011 Parade on November 11, a new monument to these men — and to all Americans in uniform — made its way down New York City’s famed Fifth Avenue on the way to its final home, a stone’s throw from Ground Zero.

Military men and women, along with New York City firefighters, policemen, emergency responders and other marchers, 50,000 in all, will escort the monument on its televised journey. The spectacle will feature members of the three original Special Operations teams — some on horseback, others walking alongside surviving spouses of fallen heroes.

Retired Army general and current CIA director was among the parade marshals. producer Jerry Bruckheimer is producing a future movie about America’s “Horse Soldiers.”

The spirit of the elite forces who rode on that dangerous and unprecedented mission in Afghanistan — the men depicted in this short film — was the monument’s inspiration. War reporter Alex Quade tracked down some of those courageous American commandos. She obtained their permission, and that of their commanding officers, to share their personal stories, their names, their faces, and their mission photos. This footage and most of these photos have never been seen before.

John Vigiano is a former marine and retired New York fire captain who lost two sons at the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. John Jr. was a firefighter. Joe was a New York City police officer.

“We are all in this equally, but in a different capacity,” Vigiano told Quade. “President Bush called us [in New York] ‘the first casualties of the war’ … we may have responded first to the attack, but the Special Forces took it to them on their turf,” Vigiano says. “The Horse Soldiers picked up the standard from us, here in the USA, and brought it to them in Afghanistan.”

“In every sense of the word,” he said, “they were an extension of our sons.”

Click (HERE) to visit Military.com and to Comment