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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Rob Way Holds Press Conference on Special Forces Casualties

Aired December 6, 2001 - 12:03   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: We want to go now to Fort Campbell, Kentucky, which is the headquarters of the U.S. Army's special operations command, and the Fifth Special Forces Group. They are discussing the loss of special forces officers in friendly fire this week in Afghanistan.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

ROB WAY, U.S. ARMY SPECIAL FORCES: ... present and in the past. And I'd like to take a little bit of time to give a synopsis of how myself and other soldiers in my unit view these three men, and then open up to some questions that you may have.

First, Master Sergeant Davis, J.D,, is a personal, close friend of mine. I have known J.D. for 12 years. We have been through many courses -- military courses and special operations courses together. We currently serve on the same team. And J.D. has always been the epitome of the quiet professional; always does his job in a very detailed manner; very professional. He also is a very wonderful and loving father and husband. I know that; I know his family personally. He is going to be missed very much by his fellow brothers in arms.

Sergeant First Class Dan Petithory; as we call him, Dan-O. Give you a little picture of Dan-O. He has that name because he is to us like a Dan Akroyd. Dan always brought smiles to everybody's faces. He was always making sure that the morale within the unit was high. Another picture of Dan would be that of a pack mule. Dan would always drive on to complete the mission; he would never stop. He is going to be missed as well, very much.

Cody -- I don't know Cody as well as the other two, but I have served with him in previous missions. And I know that we could always count on Cody to be there when we needed him, with timely information for us. And I have also met his wife, and know his family as well. And Cody is very much appreciated in our unit, and has served throughout the different battalions, and is held in high regard in all of the battalions.

That's just a quick picture of the three. If you have any questions, I'd like to answer if I could.

QUESTION: Can you describe the last time you saw these three, or any one of them, and what you may have said to them, or thought, or what they expressed to you as they went off to Afghanistan? WAY: Master Sergeant Davis and Sergeant First Class Petithory, those two are on my detachment -- the attachment (sic) I'm assigned to. I was chosen to stay back here as the rear detachment commander, to handle manners in the rear. Before they left I did speak with both of them. I was talking to J.D. and told them, brother, my thoughts and prayers will be with you guys. Go out there and kick butt, pretty much, is the words I said, and told them to be safe. If they needed anything, pass it back to me, and I'll do everything I can from this end to support their every effort.

QUESTION: Did they say anything to you in response to that, or do you remember something they may have said?

WAY: A few requests for extra -- like special phone calls to make sure that the wives and family members were taken care of. Some pay issues that they had done settlements and were waiting for some extra monies to come in, and wanted me to personally handle it for their families.

QUESTION: What can you tell us about (OFF-MIKE)

WOODRUFF: Officers of the Fifth Special Forces Group, part of the U.S. Army's Special Operations command in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, talking about three of their colleagues -- soldiers who were killed two days ago in so-called friendly fire in eastern Afghanistan when a U.S. bomb dropped by mistake too close to where U.S. and Afghan opposition forces were fighting.

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