Former Green Berets who selected, trained, and fought alongside the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) are watching with pride the fighting is doing in Iraq while trying to drive ISIS from the country. And now some of the Special Operations soldiers are trying to help the families of their fallen comrades by raising money for them.
The Golden Division, as the CTS unit is called is among the best units in the Iraqi army and is doing a lion’s share of the fighting to retake Mosul. The SF operators who trained them are proud of their achievements but know how costly the battle has become as hundreds of their former charges have died in battle.
Now they’re starting a GoFundMe page that will alleviate the cost of Iraqi families of losing loved ones. The SF soldiers led by Loren Schofield and Bryan Myers kicked off the idea and are selling flags, bumper stickers and T-shirts to raise money for the CTS families.
The CTS program, which recruited Shiites, Sunnis, and Kurds, was stood up in 2004 as the U.S. military grappled with the insurgency in Iraq.
“Special Forces soldiers selected, trained, mentored, fought with and died alongside the CTS,” Myers said. “It is the biggest success story to come out of Iraq.”
The commandos mainly battled Sunni insurgents, but also played a lead role in a 2008 offensive against Shiite militias. When ISIS invaded in 2014, CTS commandos held Iraq’s largest oil refinery for months while the rest of the Iraqi military retreated in disarray.
“Most Americans think the Iraqi army are cowards,” Schofield said. “But (CTS) stood in the breach and held the line against ISIS.”
In the last two years, the commandos led the battle to retake Ramadi and took part in operations in Hit, Rutbah and villages along the Euphrates River. The Golden Division was also the first Iraqi force to break through ISIS lines in Fallujah last year.
Much too often, the focus for our country is very short and many of our allies have been abandoned in the past. These two Green Berets are making sure that these allies know that they won’t be forgotten.
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Photo courtesy GoFundMe
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