A soldier speaks to his young daughter, to his son, to his wife… and to you and me:
Grace, I need you. And I need your Mom. And I need your baby brother Nick too. I need you all.
And I need you all to understand why I do what I do. I need you to understand that I believe in something bigger than myself. I need you to understand that I believe in an America where you are able to walk down streets or go to the mall with your friends without fear of suicide bombers.
And I need you to understand that I believe in what I’m doing in Afghanistan.
I believe with all my heart that little girls like you should be able to go to school over there and get an education. I believe they should be able to do so without fear of being poisoned by bad men driven by bad ideas. I believe those little girls in Afghanistan deserve the same kind of opportunities you will have as you grow up.
I need you to understand that I believe that my job in Afghanistan is crucial to an American future where 9/11 plots cannot be planned in the rugged mountains of that country. I need you to understand that I don’t want you to be afraid every time you board an airplane, and that I’m willing to do something about it to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
And as I will be gone for the next 12 months, I need you to understand, in your own little way, that Daddy is doing what he thinks is best. And honorable. And noble. And just. And brave.
For us. For them. For you.
God bless and keep Gabe Haugland and his family. God protect him and those like him.
And might we all understand better the sacrifices made by our military.