Hatch was wounded looking for Berghdal, the American sergeant who was eventually returned to the United States as part of a prisoner swap.
"He was an American, and he had a mom. And I didn't want his mom to see him get his head chopped off on YouTube, you know what I mean?" Hatch said.
When Navy SEAL Jimmy Hatch first heard of the captured Bowe Bergdahl, he thought to himself, “Somebody’s going to get killed looking for this kid – killed or hurt.”
He was right.
Hatch was shot in the leg looking for Berghdal, the American sergeant who was held by the Taliban for more than five years after U.S. authorities say he deserted his unit in 2009. Bergdahl was returned to the U.S. last year as part of a prisoner swap.
Hatch shared the dramatic tale of the failed rescue mission with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on “AC360” Friday evening.
“The goal is to get the kid,” Hatch said. “He was an American, and he had a mom. And I didn’t want his mom to see him get his head chopped off on YouTube, you know what I mean?”
When the two helicopters touched down during a rescue attempt shortly after Bergdahl vanished, the team immediately came under heavy fire. With a dog named Remco – who ended up being shot – they advanced. But Hatch was eventually shot right above his knee, and the helicopters had to be called back in to extract the wounded SEAL.
“I took a lot of that on myself. I felt like maybe if I had done things just a little differently – not gotten hurt – you know, the mission wouldn’t have failed,” Hatch said. “There’s no way to know that. At the time, it was a failure to me and I was the cause of it.”
Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus eventually awarded Hatch a Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.
Since then, Hatch has created a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to helping working dogs get medical care and proper protection.