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Commander of 12 Strong’s ‘Horse Soldiers’ comes to Kansas City on new mission

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Mark Nutsch and his team of Green Berets inspired last year's movie "12 Strong," starring Chris Hemsworth.

Hemsworth played the detachment commander of the U.S. Army Special Forces 12-man team that was among the first to land in Afghanistan after the attacks on Sept. 11.

"It gives the viewer a snapshot of what that's like for us that lived it. The real mission is even more incredible than a Hollywood screenwriter could come up with," said Nutsch, the real-life commander of Operational Detachment Alpha-595.

"His story tells remarkable achievements of the military that people don't hear about everyday," Art Fillmore said.

Nutsch's team of Green Berets didn't have tanks just horses.

"Our team and command believed our mission quite possibly was a suicide mission, but there was immense political pressure to do something," Nutsch said.

The 12 Strong united with Afghan resistance factions to take on a Taliban stronghold, winning an unprecedented victory crucial to the rest of the War on Terror. The team's efforts earned them the first monument near Ground Zero recognizing post 9/11 heroes, "America's Response Monument."

Nutsch was at St. Michael's Veterans Center Guardian Awards on Friday honoring other heroes, people fighting a  battle near to Nutsch's heart: ending homelessness for veterans.

"We serve American heroes, and no matter what their role was in the military, the people who live at St. Michael's are heroes for being willing to serve their country," said Susan Engel, executive director of St. Michael's Veterans Center Board of Directors.

"When you are done with service, you return back to that public life again as an individual, and for a lot of veterans that can be challenging," Nutsch said.

But the commander of one of the most fabled teams in modern warfare said the key is for veterans never to consider themselves an "Army of One."

"Find what they are passionate about now regardless of what generation they are, find those mentors, find their team that will help them in the next chapter of their life," Nutsch said.

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