Saturday, July 28, 2007

Lt Cmdr Eric S Kristensen ~ SEAL Team 10

Erik Samsel Kristensen

Lieutenant Commander (SEAL)

LCDR Erik S. Kristensen, was born at Portsmouth Naval Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia on 15 March 1972. He graduated from Gonzaga College High School in Washington, D.C., in 1990, Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts in 1991, and from the United States Navy Academy in 1995. He was killed in Afghanistan on June 28, 2005 when the helicopter he was in was shot down enroute to rescue a SEAL team he commanded.

After graduating with honors from the United States Naval Academy, he reported to the USS CHANDLER (DOG 996) in Everett, Washington as the Fire Control Officer. Next he served at Special Boat Team TWELVE in Coronado, California as the Officer in Charge of a Rigid Hull Inflatable Boat Detachment. He began teaching English at the United States Naval Academy in 1999 and also attended graduate school at St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland, before accepting a transfer to Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training in Coronado, California, where he graduated with BUD/S class 233. From there he reported for duty at SEAL Team EIGHT as Officer-in-Charge of a SEAL platoon. LCDR Kristensen deployed as a Task Unit Commander at SEAL Team TEN to Afghanistan to support the Naval Special Warfare community's prosecution of the Global War on Terrorism.

Erik is remembered as an Intelligent leader who earned the respect of his men and his senior officers. He succeeded everywhere he served. He had a great love of the arts and literature. He spoke French, and was selected as an Olmsted Foundation Scholar. He planned to begin study at the Institute of Political Studies in Paris next year. The program allows a select few service members to study abroad for two years.

During his service Erik was awarded the Bronze Star Medal (with "V" for Valor), Purple Heart, Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal (3 awards), Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals (2 awards), Combat Action Ribbon, National Defense Service Medals (2 awards), Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Expeditionary Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Sea Service Deployment Ribbons (2 awards), Expert Rifle Medal, and Expert Pistol Medal.
Erik is survived by his father Edward K. Kristensen, RADM, USN (Ret) and his mother Suzanne Carrico Samsel Kristensen of Washington, D.C.

Tribute from the SEAL Team 8 site.

From Lone Survivior by Marcus Luttrell:

"Still shouting that his boys needed every gun they could get, came Lieutanant Commander Eric Kristensen, the man who knew perhaps better than anyone that the eight SEAL's in that helo were about to risk a lethal daytime insertion in a high mountain pass, right into the jaws of an enemy that might outnumber them by dozens to one. Kristensen knew he did not have to go.... There was no way Eric was not going to answer that call. Nothing on God's earth could have persuaded him not to go.... Erick understood the stupendous nature of the risk, and he never blinked. Just grabbed his rifle and ammunition and raced to board that aircraft..."

To read all
of the tributes, please click here.


Susannah said...

Erik was my boyfriend. Not a day goes by when i don't think about him, his bravery, and his dedication. If he had not gone, where would he have been today? In Paris, certainly, but i imagine he would have been riddled with pain and guilt over his men. No, there was no question about Erik getting on the helo with his boys. And this decision is one i will think about for years to come. I'm immensely proud of him, but miss him terribly. Marcus' book is an important story that i am so grateful can be told.

Flag Gazer said...

Susannah - Thank you for sharing with us, and deepest sympathies for your loss.

Erik was truly a hero. We will never forget him.

Anonymous said...

Navy Seals are my heros, and Eric was one of the best.

Anonymous said...

Semper Fi 'Commander'... Heaven's streets are guarded by US Marines and Im sure they humbly welcome you and your brothers with honor.

Anonymous said...

A true "man for others"!

Pulchrumque mori succurit in armis.
God Bless You and Keep you.

Bill R- Gonzaga '90

Anonymous said...

I knew Erik as a young man. He was my best friend in 4th grade at Lyles Crouch. He was an incredible kid. I'm so sorry for the loss, but seeing what he'd become made me very proud of him.