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Monday, August 6 marks one-year anniversary of helicopter attack in Afghanistan

PHILADELPHIA – August 3, 2012 – On August 6, 2011, a U.S. Boeing CH-47 Chinook military helicopter was shot down while transporting reinforcements west of Kabul, Afghanistan. The crash killed all 38 people on board. America lost 30 warriors, and Philadelphia lost one of our own. It was the worst single-day loss of life in the Afghanistan campaign, as well as the worst single loss of Special Forces personnel in U.S. history.

Among the victims were American special operations personnel, including Philadelphian CTR1 Michael J. Strange, 25, a member of the Naval Special Warfare Development Group—known as SEAL Team Six. Michael’s father, Charles Strange, is a table-games dealer at SugarHouse Casino, and his brother, Chas, has also recently joined this team as a security officer.

To ensure those heroes are never forgotten, a group of Philadelphia business and civic leaders today announced plans for a permanent memorial alongside the Delaware River, just north of the Ben Franklin Bridge. The memorial will be dedicated to all those killed in the tragic events of August 6, 2011, in the Wardak Province, Afghanistan.

The Penn Treaty Special Services District (SSD), funded annually by SugarHouse, has expressed interest in supporting this project, and SugarHouse Casino has offered a site on its waterfront property. A local board of active duty and retired military have partnered with area veterans’ organizations and community leaders to spearhead the development effort.

“The lessons of history can be found throughout Philadelphia, some are ancient and some are painfully recent,” said LtCol Kevin Kelly – USAF.  “This one hit particularly close to home, and now it’s our duty to honor their sacrifice.”

A dedicated nonprofit organization is being formed to raise funds for design and construction. For more information or to get involved, call local attorney Eileen Hurley at 215-280-1854 or sign up online to receive information at

8.6.11 WARRIOR MEMORIAL SUPPORTERS (partial list):

Boeing Company

City of Philadelphia Veterans Advisory Commission

Liberty USO

Local 98

Office of Councilman Jim Kenney

Office of Councilman David Oh

Office of Councilman Mark Squilla

Office of Senator Pat Toomey

Penn Treaty Special Services District

Puente Construction

PZS Architects

SugarHouse Casino

Veterans of Foreign Wars



Leigh Whitaker

SugarHouse Casino / 6 August 11 Warrior Memorial Association

215-300-9413 (mobile)



Eileen Hurley

Spokeswoman, 6 August 11 Warrior Memorial Association

LtCol Kevin Kelly – USAF

Chairman, 6 August 11 Warriors Memorial Committee

Penn Treaty Special Services District