One of the Navy SEALs on the special operations raid that killed Osama Bin Laden is auctioning the folding knife he brought with him on the mission to benefit the family of another Navy SEAL who recently died in a training accident.
Former Navy SEAL Matt Bissonette, who wrote the book "No Easy Day" under the pen name Mark Owen, donated the Emerson CQC-7 folding knife to the charity Combat Flip Flops, which is sending all the proceeds to the family of Chief Special Warfare Operator Brett D. Shadle, a Navy SEAL who died March 28 in a training accident. Known to his friends as "Shady," he is survived by his wife Jenifer, daughter Savanah and son Christian.
Bidding on the knife started on May 1 along with other specialty items that Combat Flip Flops has organized for the internet auction. The auction started on May 1 to coincide with the two-year anniversary of the Bin Laden raid and it ends Wednesday night.
As of this writing at noon on Wednesday, the high bid for Bissonette's knife is $25,400. Overall, the auction which also includes items such as Taliban helmet, private shooting lessons and custom Suunto watch has thus far raised $57,383.
Combat Flip Flops has arranged for five charities that benefit servicemembers to receive proceeds from the auction. Those charities include the Green Beret Foundation, Station Foundation, Team 5, Lead the Way Fund and the Tommy V Foundation, which is the one collecting money for Shadle's family.
Matt Griffin, one of Combat Flip Flops' founders, is a former Army Ranger and friend of Bissonette. Over the past three years, Combat Flip Flops has organized the auction as an in-person event at the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in Tampa, Fla. Griffin, who goes by Griff, said Bissonette couldn't attend this year but wanted to help the charities so he donated the knife.
This year, Combat Flip Flops decided to make it an internet auction in order to give more people the chance to bid and hopefully raise more money.
Bissonette has owned the knife for eight years and took it on multiple missions. He said on the auction's website that the knife is still in good condition. The winner of the auction will receive a letter of authenticity from Bissonette.
The maker of the knife, Ernest Emerson of Emerson Knives, has staked his reputation to the knife's authenticity. He said he personally handed the knife to Bissonette. "That is the real deal -- Owen is the real guy and this is the real knife," Emerson said on the auction's website.
Bissonette said in a statement that he wanted to take this oppurtunity to give back and help the special operations community.
"I'm donating the knife because the owner of Combat Flip flops is a friend and when he told me about this auction and all the good that the money raised was going to go towards, I wanted to help in anyway that I could. Giving back to our community is very important to me and if donating this knife to charity helps with that process then I'm more than happy to do it," he said on the auction's website.