SMITHVILLE, Mo. - A Navy SEAL originally from Kearney, Mo., was honored this weekend, one year after his helicopter was shot down by insurgents in Afghanistan.
Matt Mason was one of 30 soldiers killed on the single deadliest day in Operation Enduring Freedom—Aug. 6, 2011.
Mason belonged to the unit that killed Osama bin Laden.
Today his family held the inaugural “Cowboy-Up Triathlon” at Smithville Lake. More than 350 athletes participated.
Matt Mason began doing triathlons after losing part of his arm in 2004 in an insurgent attack while serving in Fallujah, Iraq.
Matt’s parents, David and Betty Mason, said they plan to make the Cowboy-Up Triathlon an annual event.
“Matt was everybody’s best friend,” his mother, Betty Mason, said Sunday. “A year ago, we found out he had a couple of hundred best friends.”
Also killed on board the helicopter one year ago was its pilot, Bryan Nichols of Kansas City, Mo., Specialist Spencer Duncan from Olathe, Kan., and Sgt. Alexander Bennett of Overland Park, Kan.
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