(SEATTLE) — The family of a 23-year-old Marine killed in Afghanistan late last month has discovered an inspirational letter the young Seattle-area man left behind in case he perished in the line of duty.
Sgt. William C. Stacey died Jan. 31 in an improvised explosive device attack, Marines told Stacey’s parents Bob and Robin Stacey, both University of Washington professors, on Tuesday, according to The Seattle Times.
“My death did not change the world; it may be tough for you to justify its meaning at all,” Stacey wrote in the letter, published Wednesday by The Seattle Times. “But there is a greater meaning to it.”
“…Perhaps I did not change the world. Perhaps there is still injustice in the world. But there will be a child who will live because men left the security they enjoyed in their home country to come to his. And this child will learn in the new schools that have been built. He will walk his streets not worried about whether or not his leader’s henchmen are going to come and kidnap him. He will grow into a fine man who will pursue every opportunity his heart could desire. He will have the gift of freedom, which I have enjoyed for so long. If my life buys the safety of a child who will one day change this world, then I know that it was all worth it,” Stacey wrote.
Sgt. Stacey was on his fourth deployment to Afghanistan when he was killed. The attack, Marines told Bob Stacey, occurred while Will Stacey was on foot patrol near Nawzad, the Times reported.
He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, Calif., the U.S. Defense Department said Wednesday in a news release announcing Stacey’s death.
“Semper Fidelis means always faithful. Always faithful to God, Country and Corps. Always faithful to the principles and beliefs that guided me into the service. And on that day in October when I placed my hand on a bible and swore to defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies foreign and domestic, I meant it.”
Stacey will reportedly be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Evan Perez, Shimon Prokupecz, Pamela Brown and MaryLynn Ryan, CNN
Joshua Berlinger, CNN Newswire