The Pryor Times

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November 9, 2013

The liberation of Afghanistan on horseback

(Continued)

PRYOR, OK —



came from Whiteman Air Force Base in Missouri.

“We had over 1,100 sorties,” Nutsch said.

The “statistical support mechanism” was donkeys. Nutsch said older Afghans, with no GPS or technical equipment, moved all the supplies. Donkeys were also the ambulances.

Nutsch said the Afghans had never had the level of battlefield care supplied by the American forces and that helped build a rapport.

The horse soldiers worked their way out of the mountains in three weeks to liberate the first town. The Taliban government collapsed.

Nutsch has visited Afghanistan several times since the liberation. He said the main focus the people have is developing schools. Nutsch works with a veterans’ group whose focus is to keep schools open. The group has provided English text books.

He showed a picture of a monument erected to honor Mike Spann, a member of Nutsch’s outfit who was killed as a horse soldier.

“We’re accepted as members of the families,” Nutsch said.

The horse soldiers have been honored with a larger-than-life memorial at Ground Zero in New York City. The statue is a mounted horse soldier cast in bronze. It was made by an Oklahoma City artist.

Nutsch will visit that memorial on Veterans’ Day when he travels to New York.

Nutsch, along with Salina native Ronny Swegar and Pryor resident Bill Kolb, have founded the Foundation For Exceptional Warriors. Its mission is to assist in the healing process of veterans and families of Special Operations Forces, those recognized for valorous actions and those wounded in combat, from any era.

FEW provides therapeutic recreational and sporting events at local and national levels to enhance mental and physical health. Many of the trips are hunting and fishing.

For more information visit WWW.EXCEPTIONALWARRIORS.ORG.

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