The wife of a Utah mayor who died while serving in Kabul, Afghanistan, received a letter from an Afghan military officer.
He described how her husband “taught me to love my wife as an equal and treat my children as treasured gifts."
North Ogden, Utah, Mayor Brent Taylor, 39, was a Major with Utah National Guard. He helped train local defense forces.
He was killed on Saturday in what was thought to be an “insider attack" by a member of the Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.
Now Major Abdul Rahman Rahmani, an Afghan pilot and Marine Corps University graduate who served alongside Taylor, penned an open letter to his former colleague's wife Jennie, opening up about all he learned from her husband.
Dear Mrs. Taylor, Maj Taylor was my friend. I wrote this letter for his family. I hope this little contribution e… https://t.co/l1Q18WbLSc— Col Rahman Rahmani (@Col Rahman Rahmani) 1541396438.0
In it he described how knowing Taylor changed his relationship with his own wife.
Major Abdul Rahman Rahmani open letter to Major Brent Taylor's widow Jennie TaylorTwitter
“He was an inspiring man who loved you all. I remember him saying, 'Family is not something. It is everything'."
“You may or may not be aware of some of our cultural differences, but in Afghanistan family is not everything, for many of us, family are treated as property."
“Here, a woman cannot express herself fully, either inside or outside the house. Here, most families treat children unfairly."
“Let me admit that, before I met Brent, even I did not think that women and men should be treated equally."
“Your husband taught me to love my wife Hamida as an equal and treat my children as treasured gifts, to be a better father, to be a better husband, and to be a better man."
He went on to describe Taylor as a “great man" and a “true patriot".
“He died on our soil but he died for the success of freedom and democracy in both of our countries."
The letter struck a chord online with many in the armed forces and beyond.
I never met MAJ Taylor or MAJ Rahmani, but over the years I have known many Coalition and Afghan soldiers just like… https://t.co/BKotGWYIVw— Pete Monks (@Pete Monks) 1541583257.0
I want to share this on #ElectionDay. My brother was Major Brent Taylor's campaign manager & a close friend of Bren… https://t.co/ljACZDIcSK— Steve Gerritsen (@Steve Gerritsen) 1541527337.0
In his final Facebook post, Taylor encouraged everyone in America to go out and vote in the midterm elections.
Taylor wrote on Facebook:
"Freedom: Millions Defy Taliban and Vote in Afghan Elections"
"'The secret to happiness is freedom… And the secret to freedom is courage.' – Thucydides"
"'In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.' – Franklin D. Roosevelt"
"It was beautiful to see over 4 million Afghan men and women brave threats and deadly attacks to vote in Afghanistan's first parliamentary elections in eight years. The strong turnout, despite the attacks and challenges, was a success for the long-suffering people of Afghanistan and for the cause of human freedom. I am proud of the brave Afghan and US soldiers I serve with. Many American, NATO allies, and Afghan troops have died to make moments like this possible; for example, my dear friend Lieutenant Kefayatullah who was killed fighting the Taliban the day before voting began. 🇦🇫"
"As the USA gets ready to vote in our own election next week, I hope everyone back home exercises their precious right to vote. And that whether the Republicans or the Democrats win, that we all remember that we have far more as Americans that unites us than divides us. 'United we stand, divided we fall.' God Bless America. 🇺🇲️👊🏻"
Taylor's body was repatriated on Tuesday.
Jennie Taylor said:
“It seems only fitting that Brent, who in death now represents something so much greater than any of our own individual lives, has come back to US soil in a flag-draped casket on our election day."
“It is timeless and cherished honor to serve in our country's armed services. That honor has been Brent's as he served in the Utah National Guard for the past 15 years. And it has been mine just as long as I have proudly stood by his side."
A version of this article originally appeared on Press Association.