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Monday, January 30, 2023

Ex-Navy Seal dies in Ukraine; 6th known American killed in war

World NewsEx-Navy Seal dies in Ukraine; 6th known American killed in war

A former U.S. Navy SEAL who went AWOL in 2019 was killed in Ukraine this week, U.S. officials said Friday. He said that he was not fighting in an official capacity.

Daniel W. Swift, a petty officer 1st class, was wounded in the Dnipro and died of his injuries, said one official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss personnel issues.

No other details were available, including whether Swift’s body was recovered from Ukraine.

He left his post in San Diego, California in March 2019, the Navy said. “We cannot speculate as to why the former sailor was in Ukraine,” the Navy said.

At least five other Americans are known to have been killed in combat in Ukraine, according to State Department statements and reports from individual families.

Swift joined the Navy in 2005 and was assigned to a SEAL unit in 2007. He voluntarily left the service in January 2014, but re-enlisted in 2015, and was assigned to a SEAL unit a year later. After he left, the Naval Special Warfare Command stripped him of his seal qualifications – essentially canceling the wearing of the Trident seal.

Swift also worked briefly — just over three months in 2015 — as a police officer in Medford, Oregon. Medford Police Department Deputy Chief Trevor Arnold had no further information Friday.

He wrote a book in 2020 called “The Fall of a Man”. His Amazon page says he became a father at age 20 and “by the time he was thirty, he had deployed five times as a Navy SEAL, to include Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen.” It further states that he had four children.

The US government has discouraged Americans from going to fight in Ukraine, citing concerns that they could be captured and held hostage by Russian forces. During the early weeks of the war, at least 6,000 people contacted the Ukrainian embassy in Washington seeking information on how to volunteer on behalf of Ukraine.

Ukraine’s military attache said last year that half of the potential volunteers were immediately rejected for lack of military experience, having a criminal record, or otherwise being unfit to serve.

An unknown number of Americans have joined foreign fighter units supporting Kyiv, including former military members. Volunteering with other aid groups and human rights organizations. The Biden administration has clarified that no current US military personnel are in combat in Ukraine, although there are some assigned to the embassy in Kyiv, including with the security and defense attache’s office.

The State Department declined to specifically identify Swift’s death but said in a statement that it could confirm the recent death of an American citizen in Ukraine.

“We are in contact with his family and are providing all possible consular assistance,” the department said.

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