YUBA CITY (CBS13) — A Northern California man on a special ops mission to find a terrorist leader with ties to the Taliban never made it back home alive.
Cindy Axelson got a call from her husband, Petty Officer Matt Axelson, in June 2005. The Navy SEAL was on a mission in Afghanistan and said he would call her in a few days.
That call never came.
“Then the guys in uniforms come show up at your front door,” said Ardie Oji, Cindy’s father.
It’s a moment that would change Oji’s daughter’s life forever.
“You think about the children they’ll never have, and the fact that they’ll never grow old together,” he said.
The ill-fated mission that took Axelson’s life while tracking down a high-ranking terrorist leader with Taliban ties is depicted in a movie coming out on Friday called “Lone Survivor.”
The movie is based on the book written by the lone survivor of that mission, Marcus Luttrell, and tells the story about what went wrong in that mission.
That includes how they learned the small group they planned to confront was actually an army, and how a group of goat herders that stumbled onto the SEALs alerted the enemy.
Oji says watching the movie wasn’t easy, but he says it accurately shows what Axelson and his team went through and honors the team’s ultimate sacrifice.
“If Marcus hadn’t survived, there would be nobody who would know what happened,” he said.
Most of all, he says the movie keeps his son-in-law’s memory alive.
For that mission, Matt Axelson earned several medals, including the Navy Cross. He was buried in Chico in 2005, where he went to school and where he and his wife met.