Hurricanes

New Special Forces mission: Rebuilding group's flooded HQ

Posted November 16

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— An organization of retired Special Forces soldiers that supports wounded warriors and funds college scholarships needs help itself after Hurricane Matthew flooded its headquarters near Fayetteville.

The level of Rockfish Creek rose 30 feet during the hurricane, and the water flooded almost every building on the Special Forces Association compound on Doc Bennett Road, near Fayetteville Regional Airport.

James Parker, a retired command sergeant major who cares for the group's grounds, said he found floors buckled in buildings after several feet of water receded. Half of the walls of one building had to be cut out to get rid of mold.

The flooding also destroyed memorabilia in the buildings, including a piece of a statue of former Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein and pictures, plaques and trophies from Special Forces campaigns dating to the 1950s.

"We're still trying to get a lot of the stuff out that was affected by the mold," Parker said.

The Special Forces Association has 85 chapters worldwide, with more than 10,000 members. The organization is known for helping others, including the children of fallen soldiers.

"We never leave a person behind, and it goes down to taking care of your own," Parker said. "If we know of somebody that is down and needs help, we will figure some way out to do it."

The group is now figuring out how to repair the damage at its headquarters. Other chapters are chipping in, Parker said.

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