LITTLETON, Colo. (CBS4)– The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is being felt deeply by at least one Colorado family. Danny Dietz of Littleton lost his life in the war 16 years ago.

Danny Dietz (credit: CBS)

His sister Tiffany Bitz was asked her thoughts as she saw the images from half a world away.

“Mainly heartbreak for the families in Afghanistan who are suffering,” she told CBS4’s Rick Sallinger.

With tears in her eyes, she said she tries avoid dwelling on what has happened over the past few days, “It’s so hard to not go down that path thinking his loss was in vain.”

Danny Dietz (credit CBS)

Dietz, 25, was a Heritage High School graduate and a Navy SEAL. He was on a mission in June 2005 when his team of four was discovered by goat herders. After letting them go, they alerted the Taliban who killed all but one. It was portrayed in the movie “Lone Survivor.”

Now the Taliban controls the country that Dietz and so many others fought to preserve for freedom.

Tiffany recalled there was doubt her brother would go into the military, “He was feisty and a daredevil. He was brilliantly smart, but he had a really good heart.”

The country of Afghanistan may have been lost to America’s allies, but in the painful process, this two-decade war created a hero for Colorado to admire and honor.

(credit: CBS)

“In my mind, he was the best of the best in a way that made him untouchable.”

A foundation has been set up in his name, “The US Navy Seal Danny Dietz Foundation.”

Rick Sallinger