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Thread: Scott Helvenston (Combat Missions) killed in Fallujah

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    COMBAT MISSIONS junkie! BravoFan's Avatar
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    Scott Helvenston (Combat Missions) killed in Fallujah

    Scott Helvenston, a former Navy SEAL and contestant on the 2002 reality show, Combat Missions, was among those killed in Fallujah earlier this week.

    On behalf of the FORT, I would like to extend deepest sympathies to his friends and family.




    From the Miami Herald.com


    Fitness guru who trained stars among civilians killed in Iraq

    MASON STOCKSTILL

    Associated Press


    LOS ANGELES - Friends remembered Scott Helvenston as a dedicated athlete who was just as comfortable having fun with his children as he was helping Hollywood stars go through grueling training.

    Helvenston, 38, was among four American civilian contractors killed in Iraq in an ambush on Wednesday. They were working for Blackwater Security Consulting when their vehicle was hit by rocket-propelled grenades.

    In images seen around the world, an angry mob dragged the men's bodies through the streets of downtown Fallujah and strung two of them from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

    A statement on Blackwater's Web site said company officials were grieving for the deaths of the employees.

    "Our tasks are dangerous, and while we feel sadness for our fallen colleagues, we also feel pride and satisfaction that we are making a difference for the people of Iraq," the statement said.

    Two of the other victims have been identified as Jerko "Jerry" Zovko, 32; and Michael Teague, 38, of Clarksville, Tenn.

    Helvenston had served 12 years in the U.S. Navy, and was a member of the elite Navy SEALs special forces before leaving the service for a career as a fitness instructor and Hollywood consultant.

    He lived in Oceanside, south of Camp Pendleton Marine Corps Base, and worked as a trainer and stunt man on movies including "Face/Off" and "G.I. Jane," where he helped prepare star Demi Moore for her role as the first woman to join the SEALs. He also appeared on two reality series: "Man vs. Beast" and "Combat Missions."

    A close friend, Garth Estadt, said Helvenston led a successful life, despite growing up in the foster care system.

    "For him, everything was passionate," Estadt said Friday in an interview with ABC's "Good Morning America." "If you have a couple friends like that, you're a rich man."

    Mark Burnett, producer of "Combat Missions," said he'd met Helvenston during the 1993 Raid Gauloises, a precursor to the Eco-Challenge, and said he was upset to hear about the former SEAL's death.

    "It makes it all seem so much closer," Burnett told The Associated Press in a phone interview. "It reminds me of 'Black Hawk Down.'"

    Friends in Oceanside were devastated by the news.

    "He wasn't there to engage in any fighting, although he only told me so much about it," friend Anthony Elgindy told the San Diego Union-Tribune. "He was there to maintain the peace and protect the civilians who are there."

    Neighbor Fred Atkinson said Helvenston was a devoted father to his children, Kyle and Kelsey, and often took them camping or surfing.

    Helvenston had also founded a fitness company, Oceanside-based Amphibian Athletics, that promised to bring a Navy SEALs-style workout regimen to his customers.

    His wife, Tricia, had also participated in the Raid Gauloises in years past and appeared in some of the company's workout videos.

    It was not surprising that Helvenston had gone to Iraq to help his country after years out of the service, Burnett said.

    "That's what, in a time of need, true American warriors like Scott would do," he said.
    "They can only edit what you give them. They cannot manufacture a fictional character out of thin air." (Bill Rancic - 4/04)
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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    That's very sad news. Thanks for posting that, BF.

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    Sexy evil genius Paulie's Avatar
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    That's just shocking. And so sad. We all loved to hate him on the show, but I know everyone respected him for the job he did for our country.
    When you're ten years old and a car drives by and splashes a puddle of water all over you, it's hard to decide if you should go to school like that or try to go home and change and probably be late. So while he was trying to decide, I drove by and splashed him again. - Jack Handey

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    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    wow. That is terrible. My sympathies definitely go out to his friends and family
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

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    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    My heart goes out to Scott's family, as well as to the other families of the other 3 killed. I was shocked to hear that Scott was one of the ones killed in that horrible act, but I'm not surprised that he was over there helping out.

    I really enjoyed Combat Missions, and I'm glad that he was part of it. He wasn't my favorite on CM, but I respected his competetiveness and patriotism.

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    FORT Fogey Pyramid Solitaire by Disney's Tangled Champion combatcutie's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting this in this forum BravoFan. This hits home for me since I became friends with him during Combat Missions. My boss was on the same team with him and got me in touch with him. We spoke on a daily basis. He was out to visit us for my birthday last year. He was a wonderful person, great friend and fantastic father. May God continue to bless him and his family.

    There is a memorial fund set up for his 2 children Kelsey (12) and Kyle (14).

    Kyle and Kelsey Helvenston Memorial Fund
    PO Box # 895006
    Leesburg, FL 34789-5006


    I would like to thank you on behalf of the family for any donations and also for praying for the family and friends of Scott.
    Last edited by combatcutie; 04-05-2004 at 11:39 AM.
    I can only please one person a day, today is not your day and tomorrow doesn't look good either

  7. #7
    COMBAT MISSIONS junkie! BravoFan's Avatar
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    I did not know Scott, and only know of him from his part in Combat Missions. Reading his bio and the story of his life, you see that CM was but a small part of a very extraordinary life that he led.

    I was extremely shocked to hear he was part of this terrible tragedy, but not at all surprised that he was over there serving his country, as that is what true heroes and patriots are all about.

    My prayers are with his family and friends. CC, I think it's wonderful that you provided information to the memorial fund for his children.
    "They can only edit what you give them. They cannot manufacture a fictional character out of thin air." (Bill Rancic - 4/04)
    Regarding editing reality TV: "You can't edit IN a bad personality." ("Cali"-11/02)
    BB8 - A "conveyor belt of human garbage." ("Pono" - 9/07)

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    Portrait of Life, Scott Helvenston's family, friends recall rugged adventurer and express their grief and outrage

    By Pamela J. Johnson and Andrea Perera
    Sentinel Staff Writers

    April 4, 2004

    CORONADO, Calif. -- Inside a small Irish pub on this island off the San Diego coast, patrons are crowding the dance floor while a woman at the microphone belts out a famous Janis Joplin tune.

    Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose. . . .

    The crowd is festive at this Navy SEALs hangout, but friends of Scott Helvenston who work behind the bar this weekend are in no mood to party.

    All they can think about are the sickening images of charred bodies hanging from a bridge in Fallujah, Iraq. Shock has given way to growing rage. They want retribution for their friend's mutilation at the hands of a hateful mob. And they want it now.

    "They do things like that and that's why they need to die," says Tom Latona, drawing a beer behind the bar at McP's Irish Pub & Grill, where he is general manager.

    Across the country, in Leesburg, 40-year-old Patricia Irby tries to block out the horror of her ex-husband's death by remembering happier days. Irby spreads out old family photos on the kitchen table in the home of Helvenston's mother, Kathryn Helvenston-Wettengel.

    The couple's children, Kyle, 14, and Kelsey, 12, are outside taking a walk. Irby wants to protect their privacy.

    "These are the pictures of who he really was: camping, rock-climbing, on the river, navigating, and just hanging out," Irby says, fingering each photo as she explains.

    There's Scott rock climbing just outside Apple Valley, Calif. There he is doing a cartwheel on a log at Big Sur. Pausing during an adventure race at Catalina Island.

    "He was always out doing something wild, high and scary," Irby said. "He was always out for the thrill."

    Sitting in a rattan chair in the home's enclosed patio, Irby pulls her knees to her chest. She was with Helvenston for 14 years, she says, most of them happy.

    They met in 1988 when they lived next door to each other in Virginia Beach, Va.

    "I drove by his house and I saw him washing his Jeep. I thought, "Whew, I gotta meet this guy."

    Tan and muscular, Helvenston was a U.S. Navy SEAL at the time.

    On Valentine's Day that year, she introduced herself to Helvenston by bringing him chocolate chip cookies. That led to their first date -- dancing at a club. By August, they were married.

    The couple moved to California, where Helvenston continued his Navy SEAL work. The two "just connected," Irby said, because they both were free spirits who liked outdoor adventures and staying fit.

    "We would do workouts in the airport. We'd be on layovers and we would do push-ups," Irby said. "That's who he was: fitness, fitness, fitness."

    Helvenston, 38, hadn't always been so single-minded.

    His father, Stephen Helvenston, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida, died when Scott was 7. Over time, Helvenston became more of a brother to his mom and a father figure to his younger brother, Jason Helvenston, 32.

    Without his dad, he got into some trouble at times. But later, he began to focus -- and that focus grew over time, said family friend Eddy "E.T." Twyford.

    "He grew up in a single-parent household, moved around all over the place when he was a kid, got into trouble here and there before he got to Winter Haven," said Twyford, who met Helvenston at Winter Haven High. "But man, once he set his mind to it. . . ."

    Twyford, 39, said once Helvenston became a SEAL, there was no stopping his need to be active. He remembers a time right after they had all been partying on Church Street in downtown Orlando during their 10-year high-school reunion. While his friends were recovering the next morning, Helvenston was out doing a 12-mile run.

    Helvenston passed his athletic ability on to his kids, making them young experts in a wide variety of ventures from kayaking to rock climbing, Irby said.

    Now, Irby is working hard to shield them from the details of their father's death.

    According to reports, Helvenston and three others were escorting food shipments through Fallujah, Iraq, on Wednesday when they were attacked by a mob, and their bodies were burned and dragged through the streets. At least two charred corpses were hanged from a bridge over the Euphrates River.

    Irby said she has deliberately tried to avoid learning any details of the attack. She won't watch TV news reports or read newspapers because she just can't deal with it all.

    Instead, she tries to concentrate on her life with Helvenston. Even after they divorced and after his fitness videos started losing money, the two got along well. They shared in rearing the children.

    Now Irby said she must decide how to bring them up alone. And eventually, she said, she will have to find out how her ex-husband died and then explain it to Kyle and Kelsey.

    "The worst thing I had to do was to tell them their Daddy died. That was the beginning of making it on my own," Irby said.

    "To wake them up in the middle of the night and say. . . . That was the hardest thing I had to do."

    Twyford said he will help support Irby as she raises her children. Being a great father, he said, was important to Helvenston and something he passed on to Twyford before he had his own children. Helvenston taught him how to change diapers. And how to relax when his daughter, Haven, now 3, started crawling all around his home.

    Twyford said Helvenston became well-known because he was a "warrior" of a Navy SEAL, a fitness guru, a technical adviser on movies with celebrities such as Demi Moore.

    That's how he wants his friend to be remembered.

    "There was so much joy and happiness about Scott," Twyford said, breaking down into tears. "I just hope it's not forgotten."

    Chris Berman, Helvenston's co-worker at Blackwater Security Consulting, will do his part to keep that image alive.

    Berman lies awake nights in his bed in Kuwait, unable to erase the horror of his friend's death.

    He was expected to leave for the United States this morning with remains of Helvenston and his three other fallen friends.

    "It's not our world over there," Berman said in a telephone interview from Kuwait. "They value human life like cracking an egg for breakfast. With this massacre we learned an expensive lesson. We learned the depth of their barbarism."

    Berman was Helvenston's closest friend at Blackwater, which provides a range of security services including protection of food shipments to various parts of Iraq.

    The two had been paired as a team and were roommates since their job started March 1.

    "I loved Scotty," Berman said. "I'm going to miss the man. I'm going to miss him a lot."

    Berman and Helvenston had worked together until last Sunday, when a contractor missed a plane and Helvenston filled in for him on a job escorting three tractor-trailers carrying food to Fallujah.

    Berman went on another job escorting Blackwater clients who were helping to rebuild Iraq, but planned to meet up with his friend Wednesday night for a beer.

    Then he received a call that four Blackwater contractors had been killed.

    From what Berman has learned, Helvenston was ambushed while driving a vehicle at the end of a convoy. One vehicle drove in front of the semis, while Helvenston trailed them.

    When Berman saw on Iraqi television images of his friend's blood-soaked body lying next to a metal rod near his Mitsubishi Pajero, he walked away from the television in disgust and rage.

    "I couldn't watch it," Berman said. "When I see Scott in my mind, I see a smiling face. I don't want to remember him like that."

    Berman said Helvenston was a calming force.

    "I would get angry and Scott would get right in my face and stand in a yoga pose," Berman said. "He'd say, 'Come on, Bubba. Three deep breaths. One-two-three,' he would joke. He was good at taking away your anger and frustration."

    At McP's, there was a lot of both. Gordon Leach, 58, sat at the end of the bar drinking a Harp on tap. He remembered Helvenston as a vibrant, athletic man who came in from time to time with his SEAL buddies. McP's, owned by a former SEAL, sponsored Helvenston in triathlons.

    Leach pointed to a sign hanging above an exit depicting a hand reaching toward the mouth of a seal with a red circle and slash warning: "Seals bite. Stay back."

    Leach, who has worked at the pub for 20 years, said he has come to appreciate the tightknit SEALs community and understands their rage.

    "There will be payback," Leach said. "That's a given."

    For Berman, though, the best payback would be to help establish a more civilized Iraq. That's what his friend would have wanted.

    One of the last things Helvenston did in Iraq before his death was to buy gifts for this children, said Berman, 47.

    He bought them both oil lamps.

    "It will be something they can always have," Berman said. "When they light them, they can think of their father."

    Lisa Emmerich of the Sentinel staff contributed to this report. Pamela J. Johnson can be reached at 407-420-5171 or (email link deleted). Andrea Perera can be reached at 352-742-5930 or (email link deleted).

    From the Orlando Sentinel, which this site wouldn't let me link.

    If you register, you can see some pics.

  9. #9
    FORT Fogey Pyramid Solitaire by Disney's Tangled Champion combatcutie's Avatar
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    Mods or John please delete if inappropriate. There is a site where you can leave a message for the family of the fallen victims.

    www.findagrave.com
    I can only please one person a day, today is not your day and tomorrow doesn't look good either

  10. #10
    Combat Missions Fan Wolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pig4bill
    "There was so much joy and happiness about Scott," Twyford said, breaking down into tears. "I just hope it's not forgotten."
    I don't know Scott, but he made an impression on me thought the show, CM. Rest assured that he won't be forgotten. At least, not by me.


    I didn't even know that Scott was one of the victims, but I understand the outrage the SEAL community feels. I felt so much rage when I first heard the news of this terrible crime against civilians even though I don't know any of the vicitms . Just to think that people are capable of such evil is incomprehendible to me.

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