Captain Mitch Nelson was a US Army captain who led a team of 12 Special Forces soldiers in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He was portrayed by Chris Hemsworth in the 2018 movie 12 Strong, which was based on the book Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton. But what happened to the real Mitch Nelson, and how did he die?
The Mission of ODA 595
Mitch Nelson was the commander of Operational Detachment Alpha (ODA) 595, a unit of Green Berets that was deployed to Afghanistan in October 2001. Their mission was to assist the Northern Alliance, a coalition of anti-Taliban forces led by General Abdul Rashid Dostum, in capturing the city of Mazar-i-Sharif from the Taliban. The team faced many challenges, such as harsh terrain, limited resources, and enemy resistance. They also had to adapt to fighting on horseback, as it was the only way to navigate the mountainous region.
The team achieved remarkable success, as they helped Dostum’s forces take over Mazar-i-Sharif in less than a month. They also coordinated air strikes that destroyed hundreds of Taliban fighters and vehicles. Their actions paved the way for the fall of the Taliban regime and the liberation of Afghanistan. They were hailed as heroes by both the Afghan people and the American public.
The Fate of Mitch Nelson
Mitch Nelson returned to the US after his mission was completed. He continued to serve in the Army, and was promoted to major. He also received several awards and decorations for his valor and leadership, including the Bronze Star Medal with Valor Device, the Purple Heart, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
However, tragedy struck in December 2002, when Nelson died of a pulmonary embolism, a blood clot that blocks an artery in the lungs. According to mamainc-wa.org, he was 36 years old at the time of his death. He left behind his wife and daughter, who were devastated by his loss.
The Legacy of Mitch Nelson
Mitch Nelson’s story is one of courage, sacrifice, and patriotism. He was a man who volunteered to lead his team into a dangerous and unknown territory, risking his life for his country and his allies. He was a man who inspired his men and his friends with his charisma and determination. He was a man who made history with his deeds and his words.
His legacy lives on in the movie 12 Strong, which honors his memory and his team’s achievements. His legacy also lives on in the hearts and minds of those who knew him and loved him. He is remembered as a hero, a leader, and a legend.