Sgt. William Stacey’s final words are still being spoken and his message is being heard across the world.
On Jan. 31, Stacey was killed by a roadside bomb in Helmand Province in Afghanistan. He wrote a letter before his fifth and final deployment.
On Monday, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, Marine Gen. John Allen, read that letter out loud to a crowd of troops.
“Today, we remember his life and his words, for they speak resoundingly and timelessly for our fallen brothers and sisters in arms,” Allen said.
At just 23, Stacey had been on multiple deployments and Kurt Wagner had been by his side since boot camp. Wagner did not know about his friend’s letter until he was gone.
“Second Battalion, 4th Marines went to Afghanistan, came back a few months ago and Will didn’t come back unfortunately,” said Wagner.
Wagner added, “That letter… it says everything. It says everything about what’s important and what’s at stake.”
The letter reads in part, “Perhaps there is still injustice in the world. But there will be a child who will live because men left the security they enjoyed in their home country to come to his.” (Read the full letter at The Seattle Times )
Wagner has holds the letter dear to his heart and even has it memorized.
“[Stacey] had all the bravery in the world and because he loved America… he was a United States Marine,” said Wagner.
Within a week of returning from his first deployment, Stacey volunteered and went right back into battle. He did that following two deployments.
“He had every opportunity in the world, and he was a smart guy,” said Wagner. “He could have done anything or gone anywhere.”
Stacey gave up his life so someone else would not have to, but it is clear that his legacy lives on.
“If my life buys the safety of a child who will one day change this world, then I know that it was all worth it,” the letter said.
When asked if he also thought it was worth it, Wagner said, “I know it was worth it.”