On May 5, Navy SEAL and Maine native Kyle Milliken of Falmouth gave his life in service to the United States while on a mission in Somalia. As an American citizen, I join the swell of voices offering condolences to his family and friends, and gratitude to him for his valor. As a former refugee from the ongoing war in Somalia, my heart is particularly heavy. I regret that I cannot do more in the aftermath of this tragedy than express my deep sadness.
While you cannot hear from the Somalis who remain trapped by the ongoing violence, I hope you will know the respect and appreciation they have for the sacrifices made by American troops who are working to restore peace. I know that I speak for countless Somalis in the United States and citizens of Somalia alike when I pay reverence to Kyle Milliken with lasting respect and immeasurable appreciation.
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This letter was published at Portland Pressherald on May 11th, 2017