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August 31, 2010

On behalf of the people of the United States of America, I wish to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Junior Sergeant Herdis Sikka, who was killed in action on Monday in Helmand, Afghanistan, in defense of freedom.  Our hearts and prayers go out to his loved ones and to all the people of Estonia.

American and Estonian soldiers are working together in the NATO mission in Afghanistan to safeguard our nations and to enable Afghans to take responsibility for their own security.  The mission in Afghanistan is NATO’s highest priority.  Estonia’s most recent tragic loss demonstrates the danger and difficulty of this mission.  Seven U.S. soldiers also perished in attacks on Monday, joining Junior Sergeant Sikka and all too many other heroes who have fallen.

Estonia has lost a brave son who was serving in a most dangerous place where he was upholding the Estonian tradition of courage and commitment.  Sergeant Sikka died so that others could live in peace – a common ideal for which Americans and Estonians have sacrificed their lives throughout history.

May God bless Sergeant Sikka and his fallen American comrades.