Editor’s Note: This letter is written by the parents of Army Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, a former Green Beret who is accused of killing a Taliban bomb maker and faces life in prison nearly 10 years after the incident and after having left the military.
Lt. Gen. Francis M. Beaudette
Commanding General, USASOC [U.S. Special Operations Command]
Dear Lt. Gen. Francis M. Beaudette:
We would like to thank you for taking the time to read our letter, thereby giving a voice to the parents of a soldier under your command.
We have, for some time now, considered writing you on Matt’s behalf. No doubt you are well-versed in the details of his leadership, his heroism, his love of his men and his country. We would one day enjoy sharing with you the pure joy of raising him, and the blessing he was to everyone who knew him as he grew to be a man. It occurs to us that with the pressures bearing upon you, both military and political, including sending brave, young, selfless Americans to war, it is possible you have forgotten to examine the man and the circumstances that led you to seek his execution for premeditated murder. As these words are written our hearts are breaking anew, still incredulous that this could be our reality.
We often receive letters from men who served under Matt – reliving the battles, revisiting the horrors of the battle of Marjah. Frequently they include stories of the times Matt risked his own life to save theirs. We hear from their wives who share with us how their husbands’ symptoms of PTSD return more frequently since Matt was charged. They are asking why.
Each night we put our 12-year-old grandson to bed. He is asking why, as well. Joshua wants to know why the U.S. Army he was raised to love and respect, which lauded his dad a hero and pinned medals on his chest, has now stripped him of the career he loved even after finding him innocent in a Board of Inquiry. And harder still, he wants to know why his dad’s Commander keeps him away from him when he loves and misses him so much.
Maybe you can help us with the whys, Sir. Why do you continue to pursue our son who gave his youth, his health and limitless civilian opportunities to serve his country and the United States Special Forces? He served you heroically, selflessly and honorably. That is the truth. Do the honorable thing for Matt, his men and his country. End this meritless persecution.
Jerry and Nancy Golsteyn
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