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Fallen Marine’s letter: 'it was all worth it'

February 2, 2012 |  6:39 pm


A flag-draped casket containing the remains of Sgt. William Stacey, a Marine from Camp Pendleton who was killed this week in Afghanistan, arrived Thursday at the military mortuary at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware.

Stacey, 23, a member of the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, was killed Tuesday by a roadside bomb while on a walking patrol in Now Zad, a onetime Taliban stronghold in Helmand province.

Like many military members deployed to a warzone, Stacey, whose parents are history professors at the University of Washington, left a letter to be read in the event of his death. The Seattle Times published the letter, with the family’s permission. It read, in part:

"My death did not change the world; it may be tough for you to justify its meaning at all. But there is a greater meaning to it. Perhaps I did not change the world. 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.

“And this child will learn in the new schools that have been built. He will walk his streets not worried about whether or not his leader's henchmen are going to come and kidnap him. He will grow into a fine man who will pursue every opportunity his heart could desire.

“He will have the gift of freedom, which I have enjoyed for so long. 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.”

In accordance with Stacey’s wishes, he will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery in a section reserved for the fallen from Iraq and Afghanistan.

--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: The arrival of the casket of Sgt. William Stacey at Dover Air Force Base. Credit: U.S. Air Force