Messages are circulated that claim 31 US troops (or 30 members of a Navy Seal Team) died “yesterday” in Afghanistan after their helicopter was shot down. Most versions of this message request users copy and paste the same message to their social media statuses as a sign of respect.
Examples of the message can be seen below –
R.I.P. I am asking everyone to please have a moment of silence for the United States Navy Seal Team and their families. Their helicopter was shot yesterday in Afghanistan and they lost 30 members of the team. It would be nice to see this on everyone’s page… even if it’s only for an hour. Just copy and paste on your page. Come on friends, please do show your support!
R.I.P. To the 31 US Troops who were killed in Afghanistan yesterday. I bet no one cares enough to re post this to show some respect. This is the real reason for flags at half staff! I have only seen this posted one time; if it was a celebrity it would be plastered all over Facebook. What a shame! I reposted out of respect to the fallen heroes
Despite the claims in the message, these messages do not describe an event that happened yesterday, or indeed even recently. In fact these inaccurate messages have been circulating social media since 2012, claiming the incident happened “yesterday”.
What the messages do appear to be describing is a tragedy that occurred in August of 2011 when a US Chinook helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan that resulted in the deaths of 31 Navy Seals and 7 Afghan commandos. It was reported as the deadliest single incident for American forces in Afghanistan.
As such, sharing any messages that purport the incident occurred yesterday is strongly not advised, as doing so will inevitably result in confusion and perhaps even cause alarm to families that have relatives deployed abroad.
Passing on inaccurate information like this message is not an effective way to remember and commemorate those fallen US troops and thus this message should not be reposted.