A Norwin High School graduate who earned a place among America's elite warriors died on a mission that rescued an American doctor from Taliban captors.
Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas David Checque, 28, a 10-year decorated member of the Navy's SEAL Team Six, was killed during the early Sunday mission to rescue Dr. Dilip Joseph. Neighbors, friends and administrators from Checque's high school grieved at the news.
It was Nick's dream to be a Navy SEAL all through high school, said Kim Victor, 47, a former neighbor in North Huntingdon.
Checque enlisted in October 2002, the year he graduated from Norwin, and entered the Navy's Special Warfare training in April 2003.
He joined an East Coast-based Special Warfare unit the next year, according to Naval Special Warfare Command.
The special operators of SEAL Team Six, officially the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, are an elite unit within an elite unit.
Their missions in recent years included the killing of Osama bin Laden and the rescue of the captain of the Maersk Alabama from Somali pirates. It is not known whether Checque was part of those operations.
Taliban fighters kidnapped Joseph, a doctor with the Colorado-based medical nonprofit Morning Star Development, on Wednesday as he and two Afghan members of Morning Star's staff were returning from a visit to a rural clinic.
Checque's SEAL team deployed to rescue Joseph after intelligence showed he was in imminent danger of injury or possible death, the military said.
Checque was shot in the head.