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.

To see the full letter, visit  the Press here see at the Portland Pressherald. 

This letter was published at Portland Pressherald on May 11th, 2017