A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to join about 450 folks who were running a 5K to help honor and support the family of Corey Goodnature, a serviceman killed nearly a year ago while in Afghanistan fighting the global war on terror.
On June 28, 2005, Army Chief Warrant Officer Corey J. Goodnature was killed when the MH-47 Chinook helicopter that he was aboard crashed in Asadabad, Afghanistan in the Kunar Province.
Sadly, like so many of our troops killed overseas, Corey, a husband, a father, left a loving family back in Georgia.
I had a chance to talk with Corey’s wife, Lori, about her late husband, about the global war on terrorism, and about what Corey’s death means to her.
Lori told me about a letter that Corey had written years earlier for his church to help explain what the anniversary of 9-11 means to a soldier.
I asked her if I could have a copy of that letter to help send Corey’s message and story out to help celebrate Corey and the thousands who have given their lives to defeat evil.
I’ve attached the text of the letter below.
This Memorial Day, we must never forget our sons and daughters, friends and loved ones, like Corey, who have paid the ultimate sacrifice to help shine the bright light of democracy in the darkest shadows of the world.
God Bless you Corey, your Brothers still fighting the good fight, and peace be with your family.
September 9, 2003
Dear Julie and Isle of Hope Church Members,
Sorry it has taken me so long to write this but I am again deployed and have been very busy. I hope I am getting this to you in enough time to be read at the September 11th Memorial Service. When you first contacted me to write something I found it hard to think about what to say. The fact is I could talk for hours about all the emotions, sweat, and the countless experiences I’ve had in combating fighting to war on terrorism.
The tragedy of September 11, 2001 hit very close to home for my family. Lori and I grieved with the rest of the country after the tragic loss of our fellow Americans. Soon we found ourselves preparing for my deployment to combat to fight the regimes and groups responsible for that attack.
I am now on my third deployment to Southwest Asia and will certainly have many more I am sure. Through it all God has played an overwhelming role in keeping me safe both in body and spirit. Lori and I both can attest that without his caring hand the last two years could have been disastrous for our relationship. Our faith in him has helped us actually become closer during so much separation from each other. He works in wondrous ways and most people would not believe that two people can grow closer together and love one another more and more through such long and trying separations.
I can also say I have felt his protective shield before me as I have been out on missions. To put it simply and truthfully I could not have done it nor continue to do this without God’s presence in my life. As I sit and write this letter on a dark and dusty night I would like to say I am proud of what we have done, I would not have wanted to be anywhere else, and hope I can contribute more to this fight in the future. I do this for all those who were taken from us two years ago on Sept. 11, I do it for everyone back at home, and I will continue to serve for the future of our country.
With Christian Love,