Wars are a heartbreaking reality ever since the beginning of time. There have always been wars before we were born and there will probably be more for generations to come. It’s an unending battle that humans have long been accustomed to. It’s just the way we settle things. And I find it such a waste of lives and resources.
Constantly trying to seize power whilst killing thousands of people and ruining thousands more seems futile in repetition, doesn’t it? There’ll be a point in time when you just start asking, is it really worth the damage? Does the value of war truly equate to the lives of beautiful men and women that are lost for this cause?
My boss visited Washington D.C. a few years ago and said the memory that stood out most is standing on a hilltop at Arlington National Cemetery. There, he was looking at the acres and acres of graves of soldiers, lined up for as far as the eye could see. He saw thousands of tombs of the fallen heroes who fought and died for our country.
For our freedom, but mostly for the power we had to maintain. The loss of these lives brings out a lot of feelings- awe, respect, and pride per se. But for me, it was sadness and anger at the pointlessness of it all. I can almost feel the pain their parents, spouses, children, family, friends and even pets had to bear.
One of these beautiful lives is of a young soldier, Todd Weaver. He was killed by an IED, on his second tour in Afghanistan. Todd was only 26 years old when he died in 2010.
This brave man left behind a wife, Emma, and a baby girl named Kiley. But he made sure not to leave them without saying goodbye.
When Todd’s laptop was returned to Emma, she saw two letters that were addressed to her and their daughter. One document was titled “Dear Emma” and the other was titled “Dear Kylie.” Todd had his final gesture of love by putting these letters on his laptop to be read in the event of his death.
We’ve included the text of his letters below.
Todd’s letter to Emma
Well if you are reading this, I guess I did not make it home and therefore, I was not able to remind you again of how much I love you.
I love you so much baby and I will always love you. Although I may not be here right now, take comfort in the fact that I am watching over you right now.
I am not gone and I will always be with you in spirit. I know this time must be hard for you but I also know how strong you are.
Never forget that God knew what was best for us before we were even born. Take comfort in that. This happened for a reason. Although you may not believe it now, you will one day.
I want you to know just how important you are to me. I could not ask for a more caring, beautiful and loving wife. The memories that we have shared over the last few years have been the best of my life. Although it may seem like my life was cut short, I lived a life that most can only dream of. I married the perfect woman. I have a beautiful daughter that amazed me every day.
I even had two great dogs – at least most of the time. I couldn’t ask for anything more. If you feel sad, just think back to the memories that we shared. Look at our daughter and how beautiful she is.
Be strong for her. Remind her about her Daddy and tell her that I loved her more than anything else in the world. Her birth was the best day of my life and she was the best thing that ever happened to me. Her smile and laughter represent all that is good and beautiful in this world.
Tell her that Daddy is in heaven now and will watch over her and protect her every minute of every day. I love you Emma. But never be afraid to do what you need to do to be happy. It is so important that you continue to find happiness in your life. Although you may think this is impossible right now, have faith.
Much better times are coming. You and Kiley have a wonderful life ahead of you and I am so happy to have shared some of it with you.
I love you.
Your loving Husband,
Todd’s letter to Kiley:
Dear Kiley, My Sweetie:
Although you may not remember me, I want you to know how very much your Daddy loves you.
I left for Afghanistan when you were 9 months old.
Leaving you was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.
You are so very special to me sweetie – you are truly a gift from God.
The best day of my life was the day you were born.
Every time I saw you smile my heart would just melt.
You were my sweetie – my life was not complete until you were born.
I am so sorry I will not be able to see you grow up.
But remember, your Daddy is not gone. I am in heaven now smiling down on you every day.
You are so very lucky to have such a wonderful Mom to take care of you.
Make sure you are good for her and help her out whenever you can.
Always remember to say your prayers at night and be thankful for all your many blessings.
Never forget how important and special you are to so many people.
We love you so very much. When you get older and start school, do your best and try to learn as much as you can about the world you live in.
Always be nice and caring to others and you will discover that the world will be nice to you.
But when things aren’t going your way, never forget that God knows what is best for you and everything will work out in the end.
You have such a bright and beautiful future ahead of you.
Have fun. Enjoy it. And remember, your Daddy will always be proud of you and will always love you.
You are and will always be my sweetie.
With very much love,
In the video, you can hear Emma reading the letters aloud. It was full of love and respect that it’s so heartbreaking to see and read.
War is a terrible thing. Here, you can see a young man who’s supposed to have a bright future ahead of him and is still supposed to be there for his family. May his soul rest in peace, and I hope his family finally found closure.