"Black Hawk Down" survivor speaking in Salem

Retired Army Col. Danny McKnight whose heroic exploits were detailed in the movie "Black Hawk Down," based on the book by Mark Bowden, will speak 2 p.m. EST Wednesday at Eastwood Christian School in Salem, Ala.

A Columbus native who served 30 years in the Army, McKnight was played by actor Tom Sizemore in the popular 2001 movie about the true story of Ranger strike force fighting its way out of Mogadishu, Somalia, when its mission goes awry following a helicopter crash.

Film fans may remember Sizemore's fearless character standing straight in the line of enemy fire, seeming unconcerned about the bullets whizzing around him.

The man Sizemore portrayed served in combat not only in Somalia in 1993, but also in the U.S. invasion of Panama in 1989.

Joining McKnight Wednesday will be officials from the Alabama National Guard, Georgia National Guard and Fort Benning. They will help introduce a cadet training program similar to ROTC. These cadets will serve in the Alabama State Defense Force, which is summoned in emergencies when Alabama National Guard is on active duty.

Eastwood Christian School is at 2176 Lee Road 183, 2 miles off of U.S. 280. For more information, call 334-749-1859. For more information on McKnight, visit www.dannymcKnight.com.

YouTube has a trailer from "Black Hawk Down" posted at www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUJ6cxWdZwA.