LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Days after the Sept. 11 attacks, the United States responded with a daring mission of Green Beret soldiers on horseback.
The group secretly entered Afghanistan to go to battle against the Taliban.
Years later, they are retired and six of the men were sharing war stories over their own bourbon.
“We have award winning whiskey,” Retired Chief Warrant Officer Bob Pennington said.
Pennington and his band of brothers established American Freedom Distillery in St. Petersberg, Florida five years ago. It carries a range of premium spirits including the team’s signature: Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey.
“We were nicknamed the Horse Soldiers,” Pennington said. “We inserted in Afghanistan October 2001. Hit the ground and from there took off on horses.”
The brave mission inspired the 2018 Hollywood movie “12 Strong.”
“It was our call to duty. It was the pinnacle of my military career that spanned 30 years.”
Pennington and American Freedom Distillery Chief of Operations Scott Neil flew to Las Vegas to introduce their product in to MGM properties.
Tuesday night, the pair led a private event titled “War Stories and Whiskey” at Vdara. Pennington and Neil spoke with UNLV Rebel Veterans and Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air force base.
Pennington was stationed at Nellis from 1996-1999 as green beret. He worked on joint combat search and rescue.
“I helped create an invasion plan of action that we actually used during the war.”
Tuesday night’s conversation was followed by a bourbon tasting.
The duo hopes the event encourages veterans to pursue their passion after life in the military.
“You deserve to make the best of it following your service,” Neil said. “Everything you did while you served is even more valuable now that you’re a civilian and you should take advantage of it.”
American Freedom Distillery donated more than $300,000 to veterans-based charities in 2018, according to Pennington.
The company also partnered with Vegas Golden Knights owner Bill Foley. Foley Family Wines will support sales and marketing of Horse Soldier Bourbon as the brand launches nationally.
The men will hold signings of their bottles on Thursday, Sept. 12 at Lee's Liquor from 2 - 4 p.m. at 4230 S. Rainbow Boulevard and from 5 - 7 p.m. at 10935 S. Eastern Avenue.