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Resource ID: #25992
Source:New York Times
In May 2007 - an American Chinook helicopter was shot down by insurgents in southern Afghanistan. The crash killed 7-soldiers. NATO officials suggested the helicopter was brought down by small-arms fire. But classified documents released by WikiLeaks reported the helicopter had been "engaged and struck with a missile," suggesting the Taliban had effectively used a heat-seeking surface-to-air missile - a significant development not publicly disclosed before. Alex Quade, a freelance television reporter, was supposed to be on that helicopter, covering a battalion-size air assault mission involving Special Forces, 1/508th Parachute Infantry Regiment and the 82nd Combat Aviation Brigade. But at the last minute, Quade lost her seat to 2-public affairs officers. She survived to report firsthand on the recovery, including a fierce firefight, and interviewed pilots who reported seeing a missile streaking into the sky and striking the Chinook. Over the years, Quade continued to gather material about the attack on the helicopter, interviewing pilots who provided air support to rescue teams on the ground, obtaining previously unreleased Pentagon documents, via FOIA appeals, and collecting video from soldiers and pilots on the scene. The result of her investigation is a 10-minute video for NYT.com. It is Ms. Quade's Memorial Day tribute to the soldiers she was embedded with, and nearly died with, and a look at the effects of PTSD.