Condolences to Houston family on death of Navy SEAL

December 11, 2012

The family of a Colorado doctor abducted by the Taliban and freed in Afghanistan is extending condolences to the family of a Navy SEAL with ties to the area who was killed in the rescue.

Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque is the son of David Checque of Houston, and his stepmother is Valorie Checque, former secretary of the Washington County Republican Committee, said Tom Uram, chairman of the GOP committee.

“The family has asked me not to share information,” said the Rev. Clarejean Haury, pastor of Houston United Presbyterian Church, where the Checques attend services.

Checque, a graduate of Norwin High School, was killed in the weekend raid near Kabul. He was a member of SEAL Team Six, the same unit that killed Osama bin Laden last year.

The military says Dr. Dilip Joseph, an adviser for Colorado Springs-based Morning Star Development, was rescued Sunday morning after spending a month as a hostage. Intelligence showed he was in imminent danger of injury or possible death.

In a statement issued by Morning Star Development, Joseph’s family expressed gratitude for Checque’s heroism and “for the bravery of all involved in the mission,” the Associated Press reported.

Gov. Tom Corbett also added to the condolences in a statement. “We sometimes take for granted the danger the men and women of our military face every day as they fight to protect us and our way of life.

“Petty Officer Checque’s extraordinary courage and skill earned him a place on this unique special operations team. In this final act of bravery and sacrifice, he has forever earned our respect, honor and gratitude,’’ Corbett said.

Checque, a decorated 10-year veteran, was assigned to an East Coast-based Navy Special Warfare Command unit in 2004. His awards include the Bronze Star, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy/Marine Corps Commendation Medal, and two combat action ribbons, among others. He served in the Iraq War as well as Afghanistan.

U.S. Rep. Tim Murphy also released a statement in honor of Checque. “We grieve deeply as a community who lost a son and a grateful nation who lost a sailor, Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Checque, in heroically performing his duties as a Navy SEAL.”

He “gave his life to save another. I ask for all to join me in praying for his family,” Murphy said.

A Monroeville native, Checque lived in Virginia Beach, Va.

Barbara S. Miller covers politics, Washington County government and a variety of other topics for the Observer-Reporter. She is a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, majoring in English and history. Follow her on Twitter @reporterbarb.

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