My husband, for most of his life, had never felt like he owned anything or stood for anything, because he was so quiet and so shy. When he was in high school, he wasn't known for anything at all. But when he became a Marine, it was like he owned that.
I asked him 'If this had happened before you joined, would you still have done it?' and he said, 'Absolutely, because the world is a more dangerous place. If I can work [fighting terrorism] and get rid of some of the bad guys, I'll be happy.'
The Afghan insurgent who shot him made a big mistake because he would have done more good for the people in the village and that community than probably all the soldiers combined on that base. He had already had huge shipments of sneakers sent over.
Such a good father. Oh my gosh, every time we'd talk on the phone it was 'How's my son doing,' it was 100% Ayden. He was going to build me a house and start up his own construction business. There were just so many things he wanted to do. He wanted to retire early so he and Ayden could go hunting and fishing together.