MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Family and friends are mourning a second Navy SEAL from Minnesota killed in Afghanistan.
John Faas, 31, was among 30 United States troops killed when their Chinook helicopter was shot down by a Taliban launched rocket-propelled grenade Saturday .
Classmates, coaches and administrators remembered Chief Petty Officer John Faas as having two sides to him. They say the Minnehaha Academy graduate was a very compassionate and caring person who, on the other hand, was also this incredibly skilled and strong navy seal.
They say this combination made Faas someone they looked up to.
“Everybody knew John Faas and everybody liked him,” said classmate Chris Thompson.
Thompson says he met Faas in fifth grade. He says Faas was a person who knew how to have fun, but was driven to be the best at everything he did.
“He had a sense of what’s right and how to do things the right way doing the right things and doing them the right way that’s who I remember John,” said former football coach Ron Monson.
WCCO’s John Hines Interviews Ron Monson About John Faas
The high school football quarterback and class valedictorian could have attended the college of his choice but he decided long ago he would serve his country.
His high school football coach says Faas was bright and knew exactly what he was going to do — a Navy SEAL was his calling.
“As a principal, you hope you impact kids lives, but once in a while you have a kid that goes through that kind of impact your life and I think of John as one of those kids,” said former high school principal Dean Erickson.
NewsRadio 830 WCCO’s Steve Murphy Reports
Even his high school principal knew there was something special about Faas.
Now, all three men mourn, but are thankful for the time they had with him.
Faas was doing what he loved when he die, .and that brings some comfort to the thousands that are mourning his death.
“He clearly was doing what he wanted to do. He knew the risk involved in and I think that provides the best solace for me. It’s hard, but he knew what he was doing and he clearly wanted to do it,” said Thompson.