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smac97

A Tribute to a Fallen (LDS) Soldier/Father/Husband ... from an Afghani Pilot

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Here:

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SALT LAKE CITY — In a moving letter to the wife of the North Ogden mayor killed while deployed in Afghanistan, an Afghan pilot who served with him said the Utahn taught him to love his wife “as an equal” and treat his children as “treasured gifts.”

Maj. Abdul Rahman Rahmani tweeted a letter to Maj. Brent Taylor’s wife late Sunday night that, as of Monday afternoon, had received nearly 4,500 likes and 2,000 retweets. Rahman Rahmani said he conducted several missions alongside Taylor who he often remembers saying, “Family is not something. It is everything.”

“In Afghanistan, family is not everything. For many of us, family are treated as property. Here, a woman cannot express herself fully, either inside or outside the house. Here, most families treat children unfairly,” the letter reads, in part. “Let me admit that, before I met Brent, even I did not think that women and men should be treated equally. Your husband taught me to love my wife Hamida as an equal and treat my children as treasured gifts, to be a better father, to be a better husband and to be a better man.”

I cannot think of any greater tribute that could be given to Major Taylor.

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Rahman Rahmani later told KSL Newsradio that, one night, he was waiting in the barracks with Taylor and a few others after a mission was delayed. He got a call from home and began shouting at his children and wife over the phone. After he hung up and came back, Taylor asked him why he looked so red and angry.

When he explained what had happened, Taylor began to talk to him about the importance of family, Rahman Rahmani said.

“He said, ‘You don’t shout at your children. They have the right to say things, and you don’t have the right to shout at them.’ He said, ‘The value of democracy, the value of freedom will be given to our children, to our families and to our women, as well.’ And he changed my life. I had that discussion with him for like two hours,” Rahman Rahmani told KSL Newsradio Monday.

When the pilot went back home shortly after the mission, he told his wife what he and Taylor had talked about.

"My wife said, 'The world is changing, and we're still living in the first century. ... Let's make a promise that we don't beat our children again. (Let's) put our hands together and swear together that we won't fight each other, and we will not fight our kids,'" he told KSL TV.

My brother is currently raising two refugees from Afghanistan.  They have told us stories about life in Afghanistan.  It really is that bleak.

I am grateful that Major Taylor was a good example.

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The Afghan pilot asked Taylor’s wife to pass his words along to the seven children Taylor left behind, who Rahman Rahmani said he considers brothers and sisters to his own five children.

“Tell them that their father was a loving, caring and compassionate man whose life was not just meaningful, it was inspirational. I gained a great deal of knowledge from him, and I am a better person for having met him,” he said in the letter, noting that Taylor would not take credit for that if he were still alive.

...

He stressed that, though Taylor died on Afghan soil, he died for the success of freedom and democracy “in both of our countries.”

Rahman Rahmani has also lost family members in the Afghan war, including his father, three uncles and two cousins — several of whom were killed by members of the Taliban, he told KSL Newsradio. He was also injured in battle and still has “the scars of this brutal war” on his right leg.

“However, I will continue to still fight this ‘good fight,’ in the words of your respectful husband,” he wrote in the letter.

Rahman Rahmani had previously traveled to the U.S. to train as a pilot but eventually returned to his home country, even though many of his fellow Afghans stayed behind in the U.S. to seek asylum, he told KSL TV.

“But I came back to serve in this country. I believe in this country. I believe in my people. We can change things,” he told KSL Newsradio.

...

The pilot hopes Taylor’s family and those in his home country won’t believe that the Afghan who shot the soldier was representative of all Afghans or their sentiments toward Americans.

"(Taylor) made me realize that we can be friends," he told KSL TV.

Taylor, 39, took an unprecedented one-year leave of absence from his post as mayor for his deployment to Afghanistan in January. But months away from his return, he was killed during an "apparent insider attack" Saturday in Kabul, officials said Sunday.

Taylor leaves behind his wife, Jennie, and seven children ranging in age from 13 years to 11 months.

I am at a loss.  I don't know what to say.

Thanks,

-Smac

EDIT TO ADD: Here's the letter from the pilot to Major Taylor's widow:

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Edited by smac97
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Don't hijack condolence threads to make political statements.  It's highly improper.  Exiled has been banned from the thread.   ~Mods

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5 hours ago, Exiled said:

SNIP

There is a terribleness to every war.  But this thread was not intended as a referendum on that.

Thanks,

-Smac

Edited by smac97
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An incredibly moving story, and a terrible loss for his family, and the people of Afghanistan and the United States. For what it's worth, it sounds like his deeds shall be his memorial, in deeply affecting the love and thoughts of at least one family in Afghanistan.

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When I read that article and letter the other day, I was incredibly moved.  My heart goes out to his wife and children.   I can't imagine being a single parent of 7 children with the youngest being 11 months old!  That is just devastating.  How do you tell your child that they will never see their daddy again in this life?  I was also touched by the Afghan Maj who took the time to reach out when 8 members of his own family have been killed in the same war.  We need more Maj Brent Taylor's in this world, not less.  I hate war!!!

I hope the plan of salvation can give some comfort to this family. 

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May God bless Major Rahmani--a very thoughtful gesture to write the widow of his friend like that.

How did we just get to see the contents of that letter?  

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