A Tacoma native who led U.S. Special Forces as they drew in to kill Osama bin Laden signaled the end of his 38-year military career this week, giving up his command on a day when Americans continued to mourn the loss of 22 Navy SEALs in a Taliban attack.
Adm. Eric Olson couldnt do anything about the timing. Hed been scheduled for months to relinquish leadership of the U.S. Special Operations Command to fellow Navy SEAL Adm. Bill McRaven.
Olson handed his command to McRaven on Monday, just two days after the SEALs were killed with eight other American service members as they flew in a Chinook helicopter to reinforce Army Rangers in a firefight in Afghanistan.
Olson, 59, acknowledged that his goodbye at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa was made more poignant by the deaths of those service members, as well as by the losses of another dozen service members on Special Ops missions in Afghanistan over the past three weeks.
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