Staff Sergeant O. wrote this letter to his commander who was killed during Operation Protective Edge in 2014.

My dear commander, my second father, my friend. It’s been two years without you. To be honest, not a day passes by that I don’t think of you. It is impossible to forget you. In every meaningful life event, I feel you next to me.

You’re right there when I make my life-changing decisions, you’re right there in our squad trainings, you’re there in the sentences you kept saying to us, the sentences that are engrained in the hearts of whoever knew you.

A lot of time may have passed, but the thoughts of you don’t leave me, nor do the unanswered questions that accompany them.

Why weren’t we with you at the moment you were taken? We might have helped you and saved you. At the end of the day, you were the amazing leader that trained us.

To My Commander, My Second Father, My Friend

I go through this letter one more time and I can see you between the words and the letters. Things you said to me keep replaying in my mind. Words describing your extraordinary personality, your optimism, your smile.

My commander, the things we said about you… that you’re going to end up as a reconnaissance battalion commander, the next brigade commander, even the next chief of staff.

You sit up there and look down upon us. I look back at you as my heart skips a beat and pray to God you’re proud of us. That is my only wish.

Rest in peace, our dear angel.

I will love and miss you until the end of time.

Staff Sergeant O