Michelle Black

Gold Star Widow & Author of Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth

“Speak the complete truth.” That is all our guest Michelle Black is asking from U.S. Army officials and AFRICOM (United States Africa Command), as it relates to the death of her Green Beret husband, Staff Sergeant Bryan Black. Our guest Michelle Black, a Gold Star widow, lost her Green Beret husband in the 2017 Niger Ambush.  

In her inspiring and revelatory memoir—Sacrifice: A Gold Star Widow’s Fight for the Truth—she used exclusive interviews with the surviving members of ODA 3212 to write what has been hailed as “the best after-action report to come out of the ambush and subsequent events.”

In this episode you will hear:

  •  I reached a point where I realized that my husband and all the men who fought and died alongside him were being completely dishonored.
  • I realized that there were disparities between what AFRICOM said and what the men on the ground said that led me to believe we were purposely being misled to cover for the officers who were responsible for the mission.
  • I realized that the upper-level officers who were responsible for the mission and pre-deployment training were not affected by the punishment or by the investigation.
  • I had to make a decision. If they come after me and take everything, what are they going to do to me? I was doing exactly what I was supposed to do.
  • God was with me. He was giving me the strength. I was the right person at the right time to do the right thing. What a shame if I hadn’t.
  • Once I feel like I’m doing what I’m supposed to do and God’s behind me, there’s a different boldness that doesn’t exist in any other area of my life.
  • I don’t want to waste what Bryan fought for.
  • We hold those accountable who should be held accountable.
  • I’m pushing for changes in the way military investigations are done, so we have better oversight.
  • How can you lead people if you’re doing a poor job? It’s a good ol’ boy system no matter how good or bad a leader you are.
  • You don’t have to accept what you’re being told if you know it’s a lie.
  • The men on the ground want you to know the truth.
  • You can do anything you set your mind to.

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