By Wyatt Earp | January 17, 2009
And he did it to honor his fallen friend. This is a great story.
Pilot Mountain, NC — For former Navy S.E.A.L. Christopher Berman, the mission to build a better armored vehicle is personal. Unlike his days as an elite Navy operative, he wasn’t responding to a command from his superior, but rather an inner calling.
Berman’s friend, Scott Helvenston, was working for private security contractor Blackwater in Iraq when tragedy struck in 2004. The car Helvenston was riding in was ambushed by insurgents as he and three other members of his security detail made their way through the dangerous streets of Fallujah.
During the attack, Helvenston’s body and that of one of his colleagues was pulled from their smoldering vehicle, dragged through the streets, and hung from a bridge. Graphic images of the atrocity were broadcast around the world, remembered now as one of the darkest days of the war.
The incident led to heightened conflict between U.S. Forces and the Iraqi insurgency. It also inspired Chris Berman to act on his own. Later that year he founded Granite Tactical Vehicles with the intent of building a better armored vehicle, to save others from the same fate as Helvenston’s.
“To this day, I believe that had they been in one of these vehicles, then the four of them would still be alive,” said Berman referring to the insurgent attack that killed his friend. (H/T – FOXNews)
Berman received a call from a friend in Iraq that survived an IED attack while riding in one of his vehicles. If that’s not satisfying, I don’t know what is.
For my money, Christopher Berman is not only an innovator and a life saver – he is a real American hero.