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Featuring Wright Family, new documentary recounts truth of deadly Niger mission

The Crossroads Chronicle received a phone call recently from a community member, tipping off a potential news story. According to the caller, an interesting documentary covering the mission that ultimately led to the death of a soldier with local ties had been released on a popular streaming service.

Research this past weekend proved that to be true. 3212 Un-redacted is an almost two-hour documentary that pulls back the curtain, revealing the truth of what happened in early October 2017 in Tongo Tongo, Niger, a small African country quietly under a stronghold of ISIS at the time. At the same time, the ABC special tells of the political moves behind the explanation offered by military officials and the chain of command in regard to the mission’s failure.

The late Army Staff Sergeant Dustin M. Wright was part of this mission. (Some in the community may remember him. He attended Swainsboro schools but ultimately graduated from Toombs County High.)

Three other Green Berets lost their lives that October in service to this nation: Sgt. First Class Jeremiah Johnson of New Bern, North Carolina; Staff Sgt. Bryan C. Black of Pullyap, Washington; and Sergeant LaDavid T. Johnson of Miami, Florida.

In the days that followed the attack, U.S. military officials alleged their team, named ODA 3212, essentially went rogue, “mischaracterized” their mission, and decided to seek out and apprehend a high-level ISIS target. This, officials continued, was a mission beyond their capabilities and training and ultimately led to their death.

However, the families—including that of the late Staff Sergeant Wright—were given conflicting stories from the beginning about what happened, prompting them to push for answers.

Filmed over the course of three years, 3212 Un-redacted features interviews with those fallen soldiers’ family members, an investigative journalist who worked alongside ABC News in scouring a 268-page report on the matter, and perspective from Major Alan Van Saun, company commander for ODA 3212 whose career was ultimately ended by the cover-up.

The documentary is available for streaming on Hulu. It aired on Veterans Day weekend in November 2021. An in-depth report on the special is available on ABC News’s website as well.

Since his passing, Wright has been posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the third-highest military honor that recognizes singular acts of valor and heroism. His parents Arnold Wright of Lyons and Terri Criscio of Brunswick accepted the plaques in August 2019 from Major General E. John Deedrick Jr.

Further, Wright’s brother, Will, has also re-enlisted in the Army.

Both of these matters are covered in 3212 Un-redacted.

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