Aloha, May 26, 2014
I was at the airport with my family on Friday evening, when we noticed Schofield-based soldiers heading for Afghanistan. Seeing those soldiers, I’m reminded of the three dozen soldiers that I served with in Afghanistan, who did not come home with my unit from our tour of duty, and the thousands who gave their lives in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
One soldier, in particular, comes to mind -- a Hawaii-based U.S. Army soldier from Kapolei, who was killed earlier this year when Taliban insurgents attacked Forward Operating Base Pasab in Kandahar Afghanistan, where I had previously done my tour of duty. A Taliban insurgent rammed his explosive laced vehicle through the gate of FOB Pasab in a suicide attack. A second vehicle followed with four additional Taliban fighters using the initial suicide explosion to penetrate the base in an attempt to kill as many American soldiers as possible. This attack was successfully repulsed by our American forces, but not before the Hawaii soldier was killed. His sacrifice, and the sacrifices made by so many American soldiers, is typical of the skill, bravery and courage regularly exhibited by our American service members.
On this Memorial Day, I would like to express my deep gratitude to all of our American service members who continue to remain in harm’s way and to all those who came before them. Your courage and selflessness inspire me every day. I am forever grateful for your sacrifice and you remain in my and my family’s thoughts and prayers.