June 30th, 2011
12:36 PM ET

Marine's last words to family from Afghanistan: 'I'll see you soon'

The home video from Marine Lance Cpl. John F. Farias held little back from his parents about the dangers of fighting in Afghanistan, about how the experience was changing him and about how much he missed his family.

"I'm starting to change a lot. I'm kind of forced to grow up here," Farias said in the first video he sent home to New Braunfels, Texas, since deploying in April to southern Afghanistan's volatile Helmand province.

They were among his final words for his family. Farias was one of two Marines killed during combat operations in the province Tuesday, the Department of Defense said.

The deaths of Farias, 20, and Lance Cpl. Mark R. Goyet, 22, raise the death toll to at least 18 Marines killed this month in combat in Afghanistan, primarily in the southern provinces, according to an analysis of Department of Defense figures.

Southern Afghanistan's Helmand province has been the scene of fierce fighting following the poppy harvest, which has seen Taliban forces launch attacks against NATO troops.

Farias detailed some of his experiences for his parents, telling them about firefights that lasted between four and six hours. He told them about his fellow Marines, his buddies, asking that they "keep them in their prayers."

Just weeks from turning 21, Farias sounded older than his years. He talked about the experiences in "my short 21-year life."

"He is self-confident. He is assertive," Farias' father, Felix, said of his son's tone and appearance in the video. "He has matured, yes."

Farias' father alternated between present tense and past tense as he recalled his son's achievements during an interview with CNN, struggling with the realization that his son had been killed.

"He always wanted to go into the Marines. He always wanted to go infantry," he said late Wednesday night. "Nobody could imagine this could happen to him. He is so strong."

Farias joined the Marines in August 2009, enlisting as a private first class because he had earned the rank of Eagle Scout - the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.

With a backdrop of a blue Afghan sky, Farias told his family in the video that he "kind of took a look back at my life" in recent months and was taking on more responsibility in his life.

"I love ya'll," he said. "Take care. Take care of each other. I'll be home soon. "

Farias' mother, Penny, flew to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on Wednesday to be on hand when her son's body arrived from Afghanistan. His father was scheduled to fly to the base as early as Thursday to escort his son's body home.

"I'm flying with him. I'm bringing my boy home," he said.

Meanwhile, the video has become a gathering point for Farias' extended family, who began arriving at the Farias' New Braunfels home within hours of hearing of his death.

Everyone who comes to the house watches the video.

But Felix Farias, who watched it twice after it arrived, can't bring himself to look at it now.

"It's too hard for me to watch it now knowing he will never come home," the father said.

But someday, he says. Someday he will watch it again, watch the son he calls "my biggest hero."

CNN affiliate KENS-TV contributed to this report.

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Filed under: Casualties • Troops
soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Unbreakable

    Shame on a sponsor's ad to play before a video such as this ; secondly rest well both of these fallen marines . No reason for anyone to argue or be a bigot on a soldier's ultimate sacrifice ; if you can't stand by this flag's colors I'd suggest you find another one to stand by .

    July 28, 2011 at 4:28 am | Report abuse |
  2. John

    All gave some, some gave all..... Semper FI bother, we will miss you

    July 11, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      I will not miss him, but I did not push him to go to war as well.

      July 12, 2011 at 8:59 am | Report abuse |
  3. Dindy

    PAMIRI & DAN FROM CHICAGO, IL.. WELL WRITTEN GREAT POSTS.

    .

    July 4, 2011 at 10:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Johndro

      I'm with you. YABBA-DABBA-DOO!!!

      July 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  4. pamiri

    since 45 days Pakistan has been attacking on border area in Kunar , Jalalabad provinces, due to this rocket landing have been killed many people, children old men , women etc, but Karzai just ignored them why? and we people know better that Karzai is the slave of ISI Pakistan and he never take action against Pakistanis, and meanwhile we concern for the international forces why they are silent regarding the case and not taking actions against Pakistan accordingly , people are with them . when a man or maybe affialited with Taliban killed by the international forces mistakenly Karzai is irresponsibly shouding, but when Taliban terrorists kill people just Karzai is ignoring , now you imagine this stupid slave of Pakistan

    From Kabul

    July 3, 2011 at 11:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Idiot, Pakistan is US allie, and this is why the Taliban are fighting against them.

      July 4, 2011 at 5:05 am | Report abuse |
      • pamiri

        do not lie Taliban are the slave of Pakistan , now Karzai is too, and Taliban are fighting to generalizing their brutality and barbarism everywhere, not against usa but against the humanity and now Karzai is also came under the list of Taliban

        from Kabul

        July 4, 2011 at 6:08 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Pamiri – there are plenty of news reported by US media telling of the fight betwen Pakistan military and Taliban unmasking your lies.

        July 4, 2011 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. pamiri

    women have equal right, as men have too, and we respect women and please the cnn site who is this man is posting by my screen name pamiri????????????????????????????????????????????????

    this above post is not belonging to me , this is someone stupid some Pakistani

    from Kabul

    July 3, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  6. pamiri

    some days before the suicide attacked on Kabul continental hotel, some of people say in Kabul that before the events during the supper people had seen Taliban in Kabul around the continental hotel, and they mentioned security forces respect the case, but the security forces just ignored and as response mentioned that they can not do anything, now you can imagine that how the Afghanistan leadership is working for Taliban, even he (Karzai) can equip Taliban terrorists in the presidentional palace and send them to their target ,
    now how can you trust on such man, which he has to be some one to protect people, but instead he invite Taliban to kill people, but the international forces are completely silent respect the case why??????
    Till Karzai is working as president we would have seen many lives of national and international would be sacrificed very easily, under slavery and isi agenda,

    Its up to us to battle against such people no problem in which position they are ! we need honest people to run our country not traitor like ( Karzai)

    From Kabul

    July 3, 2011 at 3:48 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Karzai talked with Taliban after US requests. He is the president of ALL afghans not just a minirity and the civilian casualties issue raised by the Afghan people is important for a president.

      July 3, 2011 at 6:18 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        What about a grenade attack on a school? Should not Karzai be more concerned with this kind of attack? i MEAN after all these are intended targets on GOD'S children, DOES THIS NOT BOTHER THE ISLAMIC WORLD? 25 CHILDREN OR WORKERS KILLED for what POWER OVER GOD'S CHILDREN!

        July 3, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        Sorry, they were ONLY injured, thank God, but their intention was to kill!!!

        July 3, 2011 at 5:23 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        The war makes impossible for the Taliban to fight against crimes like that.

        July 4, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        IT IS most probable that a Taliban or terrorist insurgent was responsible!

        July 4, 2011 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Taliban cannot controll every single person. This disorder is the result of the war and the responsibility is upon the aggressors, the americans.

        July 4, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        NO THE RESPONSIBILITY WILL BE ON THE PERSONS WHO DO THESE KIND OF THINGS!

        July 4, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        So you say the person is responsible not the Taliban in general.

        July 5, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        GOD will hold all responsible for such acts, be it who carried out the attacks, who gave materials to do such acts or who commanded such attacks! THEY ALL KNOW RIGHT FROM WRONG AND NO MATTER WHAT you WANT TO CALL THESE KINDS OF ATTACKS THEY ARE INTENDED TO KILL AND TERRORIZE INNOCENT PEOPLE WHO THE TALIBAN AND TERRORISTS DEEM UNGODLY AND EXPENDABLE! THE FACT IS THAT THESE PEOPLE WHO DO SUCH ACTS ARE UNGODLY!

        July 5, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        The attack on the school is bad, but the Taliban are not responsible, just the individuals who committed it. Indirectly the US military are responsible as they started the war.

        July 6, 2011 at 2:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. pamiri

    I am so sorry for the dead of this brave man, who sacrificed himself for the people, and for others who have sarcrificed their lives to protect civillian,
    good bless you and your families,

    the people of Afghanistan know that the international forces are protecting them , and Taliban terrorists are the enimies of the people.

    from kabul

    July 3, 2011 at 3:38 am | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Sems like not all afghans want to be protected by the US.

      July 3, 2011 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. pamiri

    stupid who are you posting under the screen name of pamiri, I do not know why the CNN site responsible person let you do such shameful action, dear all i am not posting such think , their is some who want to defame my posting , its is clear never my post express such bad words,,

    from Kabul

    note: who you are posting against me stop it

    July 3, 2011 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  9. Dindy

    Dan from Chicago ,IL ....well written.Good post .

    July 2, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Dindy

    He sacrificed his life for a great reason......he was loyal to his country and to whole world who wish to live in peace . no one can underestimate his decision. He is a very brave & a precious true child of God!!! He did not die as he gave his life for others to live. But living eternally in heaven.

    July 2, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Bull Dog from South Texas

    Semper Fi little brother we are very proud of the bravery you display I hope your family knows all Marines feel the loss of their young warrior and that his loss of life was not in vain no matter what others may post the irony of it all is he stood to protect their right to free speech...all they need say is thank you and all who serve...simper Fi!

    July 2, 2011 at 11:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Dan from Detroit, MI

      When are you people going to realize that this obnoxious war has absolutely nothing to do with our freedom of speech or any other freedom for that matter? We need to get out of there as soon as possible!

      July 2, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Protecting the right of free speech ?
      Taliban never endangered that right.

      July 3, 2011 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        OH YEA salerno, are you telling ME i could have went and built Churches pre 9/11 in Afghanistan without any VIOLENCE?

        July 3, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Your freedom is limited by other people's freedom. You cannot do what you want in another country, like novoby can do what he want in USA. Speech freedom does not mean I can build a church in Washington. I need a permit.

        July 4, 2011 at 5:02 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        My freedom is NOT limited by anyone and like . said you would say anything to get the last word in! And this statement shows how ignorant you are. A permit does not bind you from building a church! A permit bind's you to build a safe structure in accordance with the land's provision(ie... building a commercial building in a residential area would not be permitted).

        July 5, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Dan – in your post you proved that your freedom is limited.

        July 7, 2011 at 2:31 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jim from Texas

    Semper Fi young warrior – rest in peace.
    This is not the place nor the forum to talk about how wrong the US is to play world policeman. If you're not here to honor this young marine get and stay the hell off.

    July 1, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gary Johndro

      I'm with you, Buddy. YABBA-DABBA-DOO!!! We can't have any of these peaceniks here, no way!!!

      July 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. PFC Ellis

    Oorah!! I salute this Marine! Thank you for your sacrifice! Oorah! Semper Fi!
    My prayers and thoughts are with him and his family!
    – PFC Ellis (USMC, 0311)

    July 1, 2011 at 1:55 am | Report abuse |
  14. Dan from Detroit, MI

    Just when are the young people going to learn that these obnoxious wars are not fun and games? These right-wing fanatics keep on brainwashing our young into hating Muslims and a belief that we have a right to take any country we want and that's dead wrong! Wars, especially these useless ones, are nothing but heartache except for the right-wing politicians and special interest groups!!!

    June 30, 2011 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • George Patton

      Good posting, Dan. Thank you.

      July 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. salerno

    It is amazing how the people do not consider the eventuality to be killed in war. To be sure to not die you should avoid to enlist and looking for another job.

    June 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan from Chicago, IL

      Why do you talk? YOU HAVE NO MORAL COMPASS!

      June 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      The moral compass tells that killing people around the world is bad. Of course people fight back and you can be killed.

      June 30, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Detroit, MI

        Well said, salerno. Thank you.

        June 30, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        If the Taliban and terrorists lay down their arms and disavow violence THEN WE can stop our war on terror in this region! BUT AS THEY PLAN AND ATTACK WESTERN AND JEWISH TARGETS THEN WE WILL BRING JUDGMENT UPON THEM!!!

        June 30, 2011 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        A very slow judgment, as I can see. After 10 years you are still looking for some peace talk with the Taliban.

        July 1, 2011 at 2:47 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        WE have killed or captured many high value targets of not only al Qaeda but of other terrorist groups also. WE WILL continue to target high level terrorists until they lay down their arms and decide that PEACE and LOVE of one anther Is the WILL of GOD!

        July 2, 2011 at 11:33 am | Report abuse |
  16. Martina

    Iam so sad and iam sorry, that has had happened again! I have tears in my Eyes becuas of him too! when this horror will stop finally?????????????? all my thoughts now to his family members! SALUT too him also !

    June 30, 2011 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      The horror will stop when the USA will stop attacking other countries around the world. It is so simple !

      June 30, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        ARE YOU telling ME that you have control over the terrorists(which by the way are the ones attacking and killing people all around the world)?

        June 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan from Chicago, IL

      i TRIED can't stand it anymore!

      June 30, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan from Chicago, IL

        LOOK at the ISLAMIC world and TELL ME who NEEDS a DOCTOR! JUST THINK mohammad BROUGHT THIS ABOUT!!! AND YOU TELL ME he IS A PROPHET! THE WAY YOU PEOPLE LIVE YOUR LIVES YOUR GONNA NEED MORE THAN A DOCTOR!!!

        July 1, 2011 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |