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Monday, February 9, 1998 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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The Men In The Battle: Where Are They Now?

The Philadelphia Inquirer

Chief Warrant Officer Mike Durant now flies an AH-6 Little Bird for the Army's 160th Special Operations Aviation Division at Fort Campbell, Ky., where he also supervises use of the unit's sophisticated flight training simulators. He and his wife, Lorrie, now have two children. He received the Bronze Star with Valor Device and a Distinguished Flying Cross.

Staff Sgt. Matt Eversmann, who led Chalk Four, is now a sergeant first class with the Ranger regiment at Fort Benning, Ga. He received the Bronze Star with Valor Device.

Pfc. Todd Blackburn recovered from the injuries he suffered falling from a helicopter at the beginning of the fight, and now lives in Pensacola, Fla.

Maj. Gen. William Garrison accepted full responsibility for what happened during the battle. He spent two years heading the J.F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center before retiring from the Army on Aug. 1, 1996, the same day that Mohamed Farrah Aidid died in Mogadishu. He lives on a ranch in Texas.

Lt. Larry Perino, who received the Bronze Star with Valor Device for leading Rangers to the first crash site, is now a captain with the Ranger regiment at Fort Benning.

Staff Sgt. Jeff Struecker, who received the Bronze Star with Valor Device for leading several vehicle convoys into the fight, is still with the Ranger regiment at Fort Benning, and in 1996 was named "Ranger of the Year."

John Gay is still a Navy SEAL. He received the Bronze Star with Valor Device. His hopes for a deal to endorse the Randall knife that deflected a bullet and saved him from serious injury have never been realized.

Sgt. Scott Galentine, whose thumb was shot off early in the battle, had the digit reattached in surgery and has regained some use of it. He left the Army and is attending college in Georgia.

Abdiaziz Ali Aden still lives with his brothers, sisters and parents in the house in Mogadishu clipped by Cliff Wolcott's helicopter as it crashed.

Sgt. Mike Goodale, who joked through the long night about having been shot in the buttocks, fully recovered from his injury. He received the Bronze Star with Valor Device. He now lives with his wife in Pekin, Ill., and is in college studying to be a high-school history teacher. He serves with the National Guard.

Lt. James Lechner, who was badly injured in the leg while moving to the first crash site, is now an Army captain in Hawaii.

Spec. Shawn Nelson left the Ranger regiment and was working as a trail guide in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming until he recently re-enlisted, this time in the Navy, where he hopes to complete training to become a SEAL.

Staff Sgt. Ed Yurek, who led the remnants of Chalk Two through gunfire to the first crash site, is still with the Ranger regiment at Fort Benning.

Capt. Mike Steele, who received the Bronze Star with Valor Device for his actions as commander of the Rangers during the fight, is now a major with the Army's 82nd Airborne Division.

CWO Keith Jones, the Little Bird pilot, and copilot CWO Karl Maier received the Silver Star for their daring landing and rescue efforts at the first and second crash sites. Both men are still pilots with the 160th.

Yousef Dahir Mo'Alim, the Somali militiaman who saved Mike Durant's life, was shot in the stomach by a minigun in continued fighting that day. After a year in the hospital, he recovered, and today works as a mechanic in Mogadishu.

CWO Mike Goffena, the Black Hawk pilot who flew a covering orbit over both crash sites and the target area and managed to fly his crippled helicopter back to base, received a Silver Star. He is still a pilot with the 160th.

Spec. Dale Sizemore, the big Ranger from Illinois who cut a cast off his arm to join the fight, left the Army and now is in college in Illinois studying to be an elementary school teacher.

Pfc. Clay Othic and his hunting buddy from Missouri, Spec. Eric Spaulding, recovered from their wounds and drove home in time for deer season. Both are now special agents for the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, Othic in Kansas and Spaulding in Arizona.

Sgt. 1st Class Matt Rierson, the D-boy whose steadiness under fire helped bring the Lost Convoy home, and who helped lead the giant convoy back out into the night, was posthumously awarded the Silver Star. He was killed in a mortar attack on the Task Force Ranger hangar two days after the battle.

Lt. Col. Danny McKnight, commander of the Lost Convoy, who was wounded during its wanderings, received the Bronze Star with Valor Device. He is now a colonel.

Pfc. Adalberto Rodriguez, of the Lost Convoy, who was shot, blown out of a Humvee by a rocket-propelled grenade and then run over by a five-ton truck, survived. He is in college in Puerto Rico.

Pfc. Tory Carlson, who was injured in an RPG blast in the back of a Humvee, left the Army and is now working as a high-line electrician in Florida.

Sgt. Raleigh Cash, who rode into the battle on several different convoys, is now a sergeant first class with the Ranger regiment at Fort Benning.

Pfc. Peter Squeglia, the company armorer who rode out with two separate convoys during the fight, left the Army and is now sales manager for a high-tech electronics company in Boston.

Homer Nearpass, who was injured in both legs on the Lost Convoy, received the Bronze Star and is still a Navy SEAL.

Tech. Sgt. Tim Wilkinson, the Air Force parajumper, a rescue specialist, who repeatedly braved enemy fire to offer medical attention to the wounded at the first crash site, received the Air Force Cross and a Silver Star. He is still serving in the Air Force.

Staff Sgt. Ray Dowdy, a crew chief who went down aboard Super 61, lost the tip of one finger and is still serving with the 160th at Fort Campbell.

Sgt. 1st Class Al Lamb, who roped in with the Combat Search and Rescue team to crash site one, received the Silver Star. He is still serving in the Army.

Cpl. Rob Phipps, who was injured in the back, face and leg after roping in with the Combat Search and Rescue team, recovered and is now a Ranger staff sergeant at Fort Benning.

Sgt. 1st Class Paul Howe, the D-boy team leader who led the main ground force to the first crash site, received the Bronze Star with Valor Device. He is now a master sergeant and is still serving in the Army.

Capt. Scott Miller, who was awarded the Bronze Star with Valor for leading the Delta Force units on the ground, is now an Army major.

Pfc. Carlos Rodriguez, who was critically injured by a bullet to the groin in the fight around crash site one, recovered fully from his injury. He is still a Ranger and is stationed in Washington state.

Spec. John Stebbins, the company clerk who was drafted into the fight, and was knocked down and thought to be dead three times during the battle, recovered from his wounds and received the Silver Star. He is now a staff sergeant at Fort Benning.

Lt. Col. Bill David, commander of the 10th Mountain Division force that rolled out into the city to rescue the pinned-down Rangers, is now a colonel and commands a garrison at Fort Bragg, N.C.

Spec. Phil Lepre, who watched Pfc. James Martin get shot down in street fighting as the rescue convoy moved into the city, left the Army in 1994 and now works for an advertising agency in a Philadelphia suburb.

Spec. Aaron Ahlfinger, who was with the portion of the rescue convoy that took a wrong turn and got stranded and pinned down, left the Army and is now a police officer in Colorado.

CWO Daniel Jollota, pilot of the search-and-rescue Black Hawk that was hit by an RPG while delivering a rescue team to crash site one, received the Distinguished Flying Cross and is still flying with the 160th.

The dead and their with posthumous awards:

Sgt. 1st Class Randy Shughart, Medal of Honor.

Master Sgt. Gary Gordon, Medal of Honor.

CWO Cliff Wolcott, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and the Air Medal with Valor Device.

CWO Donovan Briley, Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star and Air Medal with Valor Device.

Staff Sgt. William Cleveland, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Air Medal with Valor Device.

Staff Sgt. Thomas Field, Silver Star, Bronze Star and Air Medal with Valor device.

CWO Raymond Frank, Silver Star, Air Medal with Valor Device.

Staff Sgt. Daniel Busch, Silver Star.

Sgt. Cornell Houston, Bronze Star with Valor Device.

Sgt. Casey Joyce, Bronze Star with Valor Device.

Spec. James Cavaco, Bronze Star with Valor Device.

Cpl. Jamie Smith, Bronze Star with Valor Device.

Sgt. Dominick Pilla, Bronze Star with Valor Device.

Pfc. Richard Kowalewski, Bronze Star with Valor Device.

Sgt. Lorenzo Ruiz, Bronze Star with Valor Device.

Sgt. 1st Class Earl Fillmore.

Pfc. James Martin.

Master Sgt. Tim "Griz" Martin.

Copyright (c) 1998 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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