Fallen Marine’s letter marks Memorial Day in Afghanistan
United States Marine Sergeant William Stacey was killed earlier this year by a homemade bomb in southern Afghanistan, a death for which he prepared by writing a letter to his family explaining why he was fighting, which would be read in the event of his death. Top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine General John Allen, read the 23-year-old’s letter during a Memorial Day service on Monday in Afghanistan’s capital city, Kabul, in memory of all the warriors who have died in the country since the war began in 2001.
Allen, who also leads the NATO coalition in Afghanistan, said, “Today we remember his life and his words, for they speak resoundingly and timelessly for our fallen brothers and sisters in arms.” Stacey was serving on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed on January 31 in Helmand province. The young Marine told his family that he was motivated to fight in Afghanistan to protect the country’s children and provide them the opportunity to go to school and live out their dreams. In his letter, the Redding, California native wrote, “There will be a child who will live because men left the security they enjoyed in their home to come to his. He will have the gift of freedom which I have enjoyed for so long myself, and if my life brings the safety of a child who will one day change the world, then I know that it was all worth it.” Allen said that despite the human cost of the war, the fallen troops did not die in vain.