Transcript for 3 brothers served, a 'sole survivor' remains
On this memorial day weekend, a remarkable and heartbreaking story of service and sacrifice. The wise family from Arkansas had three sons serving in the military in Afghanistan. Within two years, two were killed. The youngest, beau wise designated a sole survivor and pulled from the battlefield in Afghanistan. Their story told in beau's memoir, "Three wise men." I sat down with beau earlier in Washington this week. What was it like growing up a wise boy? I was kind of constantly getting pulled into various different shenanigans of variety. Mostly instigated by Jeremy. Reporter: It was Jeremy, the oldest who led the pack of wise siblings, telling we'll always have each other. No matter what happens, you'll always have two brothers to lean on. But 9/11 would change everything. We just got a report in that there's been some sort of explosion at the world trade center in New York City. Reporter: All three of the wise boys eventually deploying to Afghanistan in what would become America's longest war. Beau, a marine, Ben, a green beret, Jeremy a Navy S.E.A.L., and later a CIA contractor. Beau's brothers serving eight combat deployments combined, both becoming husbands and fathers, snatching precious moments at home with loved ones. Happy birthday to you Reporter: But always returning to the next tour. They both saw a lot of action. They saw a lot, but I think Ben might have seen probably the most. Reporter: Beau worried about Ben, but not so much about Jeremy. From the beginning, I -- I wasn't really worried about him. I mean, I was just -- he was invincible, you know, in my mind. Reporter: Invincible in the way only an older brother can be, but not against a suicide bomber. We turn now to the other major story this evening. Afghanistan where a grim portrait is emering tonight. Reporter: Jeremy was among seven CIA employees or contractors killed in Afghanistan, the deadliest attack on the CIA in more than 25 years. Beau was overseas at the time. Tell me about the day Jeremy died. Immediately, first response was absolute anger. I really wanted to just, you know, and then I just -- the shock came over, and it was just numb for awhile. Reporter: Beau and Ben would return for Jeremy's funeral. Ben telling beau, I can't believe I'm the oldest brother now. But soon, beau would be the oldest. Some two years later in 2012 with Ben and beau both in Afghanistan, the wise family would suffer another shattering loss. He took eight to ten rounds and traveled south to north through his chest, legs and groin, and he was a fighter, and he fought for six days, and they eventually lifted him to a hospital in Germany, and after six days, he eventually succumbed to his wounds. Reporter: Beau served as what's called a guardian angel, among those who escorted his brother's body back home. Beau with the realization he was now a sole survivor, one of the only ones with that designation since World War II. The commandant told your parents that night you would not be put in harm's way. I didn't take that news very well at the time. I do now. Reporter: Jeremy's CIA service is now commemorated with a star on the CIA memorial wall. Beau unable to attend the memorial service in 2010 saw that star for the first time this week. Still emotional, hours later. CIA director bill burns honoring Jeremy as well. You talked to his brother today. I did, which was a privilege because, you know, Jeremy wise as you well know, was a remarkable patriot, a Navy S.E.A.L. Before he came to CIA, in a family of remarkable patriots. Reporter: The weight of that wall ever present. This memorial wall is hallowed ground for CIA. It now holds 137 stars. Each one marking a CIA officer who was killed in the line of duty. CIA officers go to places others can't go, to hard places around the world to collect information, to disrupt adversaries, to fight terrorists, and so almost by definition, what we do in CIA is rarely seen. It's often not well understood. People take enormous risks here, and those risks are very real, and the sacrifices that they and their families make are very real as well. Very real indeed. Our thanks to director burns, to the wise family, and to beau's co-author Tom soleo. Beau tells us Ben and Jeremy's families are doing well, and that one day he hopes to take
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