Afghan Pilot Writes a Beautiful Tribute to Slain US Soldier’s Wife
“Dear Mrs. Taylor, Maj. Taylor was my friend. I wrote this letter for his family. I hope this little contribution eases your pain.” Afghan Army pilot Major Abdul Rahman Rahmani wrote these words in a letter to Army National Guard Major Brent Taylor’s widow.
Utah mayor Brent Taylor was shot and killed Saturday in Afghanistan by an Afghan soldier he was training. Afghan Army pilot Abdul Rahman Rahmani wanted Taylor’s widow and seven children to know how much Taylor inspired him and encouraged him to be a better husband and father. Rahmani, who flew missions with Taylor, posted the letter on Twitter, hoping it would reach Jennie Taylor.
Rahmani wrote that Taylor was a “great man,” who had impacted him both professionally and personally. “He was an inspiring man who loved you all. I remember him saying, ‘Family is not something. It is everything.'”
Taylor taught him to be a better man, he said. “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.”
A True Patriot
Rahmani also had words for Taylor’s children. “Tell them that their father was a loving, caring and compassionate man whose life was not just meaningful, it was inspirational. … Never stop telling them what a great man their father was, he was a true patriot. He died on our soil but he died for the success of freedom and democracy in both of our countries.”
Rahmani wanted Taylor’s wife to know that the man who shot her husband did not represent most Afghans, who grieved over the loss of the major. He concluded, “I pray that God will give you strength, peace, and show you his blessings in this time of great sorrow.”
The Right Thing to Do
In a statement to The Stream, Rahmani wrote that he wasn’t sure if the letter would be welcomed, but it was the right thing to do. “This is another lesson that I gained from Maj. Taylor. He always encouraged his friends to stand for what is right.” He added that he also wanted to convey the message to the shared enemies of Afghans and Americans that “the friendship and brotherhood that have been built during the past 17 years is not shakable. They might try to infiltrate our ranks, but they will fail over and over again to weaken our partnership. … He loved his family, his people and his country, something that I gained from him.”
A Worthy Cause
He also stated that he wanted Americans to know their contribution in Afghanistan is a worthy one. “Men like Taylor who come to Afghanistan and put their life in danger do it for a cause and a bigger purpose — preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorists. They come here to help Afghans build a state where there is no poverty, no war, no uneducated people.”
The Afghan media covered the viral letter. “By sharing this letter, Afghans conveyed a message to their American friends that the evil who killed Maj. Taylor does not represent Afghanistan.” Rahmani has received threats because he wrote the letter, yet he called them “no big deal.” Rahmani stressed that he wanted to express his “deep condolences to the family and friends of Maj. Tayor and to the American people.”
While he hasn’t been in contact with Jennie Taylor, he heard that she will read his letter at Taylor’s funeral, “which is a great honor to me.”
Read the full letter here:
Dear Mrs. Taylor,
Maj Taylor was my friend. I wrote this letter for his family.
I hope this little contribution eases your pain.
Note: this letter was sent to his physical add by one my American mentors. I tried to email too but I failed to find her email. pic.twitter.com/28nH7o4W6D
— Abdul Rahman Rahmani (@rahmanrahmanee) November 5, 2018