Family Thankful For Rescue, But Grieving Over Sailor's Death

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (CBS4) – The doctor rescued from the Taliban on Sunday should be back home in Colorado Springs soon.

Navy SEALs went into eastern Afghanistan to pull out Dr. Dilip Joseph, who’d been abducted. Military intelligence showed he was in imminent danger. He worked for Morning Star Development, which is calling his rescuers heroes.

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His family issued a statement thanking the military and government saying, “They showed great heroism and professionalism. We want to extend our deepest condolences to the family of the American sailor who died.”

The sailor was one of the members of SEAL Team 6. President Obama praised “extraordinary courage, skill and patriotism” on Sunday. He quickly issued that statement about SEAL Team 6, the same one that killed Osama bin Laden.

Defense officials identified the sailor as Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque, 28, of Monroeville, Penn., about 15 miles east of Pittsburgh. Checque died of combat-related injuries suffered Saturday near Kabul, Afghanistan.

Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque (credit: CBS)

Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas D. Checque (credit: CBS)

Morning Star Development is a nonprofit organization committed to helping the people of Afghanistan rebuild. Joseph was in Afghanistan with the group training and educating Afghan doctors when he was kidnapped along with two other Afghan doctors.

At the Joseph home in Colorado Springs on Monday a note was on the door that asked the media to respect the family’s privacy. Neighbors were shocked to hear Joseph’s ordeal.

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“We knew something was going on because the latter part of last week there was a lot of cars there we figured it was either the State Department or CIA,” neighbor Aaron Hayward told CBS4.

Hayward described the Josephs as a very nice, quiet couple with four children.

“He never said what he did and I didn’t question what he did,” Hayward said.

According to U.S. officials, the Taliban demanded $100,000 ransom but Morning Star Development didn’t have the money. The two Afghans were released and said the captors were heading to Pakistan with Joseph and were mistreating him.

Randy Robertson has a new appreciation for his friendly neighbor.

“It takes a lot of guts to go over there and do something like that,” Robertson said.

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Joseph is expected back in Colorado Springs sometime later in the week.