Letter to the Editor: Honoring the fallen

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September 13, 2010

11:08 PM

I write this from a combat outpost in Kandahar, Afghanistan, 25 miles from where Todd Weaver ’08 lost his life to a Taliban improvised explosive device two days ago. Todd was a great friend, father and husband.

He was the best of us: fitter, smarter, and more confident and experienced. What pained me most upon hearing of his death was not only losing a friend, but knowing that Emma and Kiley, his beautiful wife and one-year-old daughter, were losing the rock in their lives. It pained me to know that Derek Zotto ’08 was losing one of his best friends, not realizing that Derek himself had just been wounded by a rocket propelled grenade in Kunar, within sight of the high ridges of Pakistan. I know Derek does not want this attention on him, as he only wants to support Emma and Kiley in their time of need, but I feel it is important to highlight both Todd and Derek’s selflessness. It inspires me on a daily basis to continue my task and mission, which is much the same as theirs.

I know many present students of the College of William and Mary did not know Todd, and may feel distant to the ongoing war. But know that there are quite a few alumni here in Afghanistan. In addition to myself, Steve Draheim ’08 and Greg Kirsch ’07 are presently fighting in Kandahar and Helmand, respectively, not to mention the dozens upon dozens of other graduates who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last nine years. I write this on Sept. 11, and I call upon those back home to serve a greater cause. Military service is one means to this end, but so are teaching, medical care and community service, to name just a few. I was inspired to serve by the sacrifices of others, and so I hope Todd’s sacrifice inspires you. Todd, I will miss you, and I cherish the many afternoons and evenings spent at the Green Leafe, trying whatever beer or whiskey Tony could throw at us. Rest in peace, brother. I will see you in another life.

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