More than 2,000 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, including several Minnesotans.
Military veterans and family members of those who have died while serving during U.S. military action are expressing satisfaction over Osama bin Laden's death.
"It puts a little meaning to why they were there and we lost our son for that reason," said Don Goodnature, of Clarks Grove, whose son Corey was the first Minnesota soldier killed in Afghanistan when his helicopter was shot down in 2005.
Corey Goodnature was an Army warrant officer who had served in the Army for 14 years and was on his third tour of duty in Afghanistan when he was killed. He was part of a Special Forces unit that performed similar missions to the one that killed bin Laden, Don Goodnature said.
Goodnature remembers that U.S. military officials thought Osama bin Laden was hiding in the mountains of eastern Afghanistan at the time of his son's death. Nearly six years later, Don Goodnature said the family still struggles with their loss.
"When you lose a child like that, you know, it's the most important thing, [the] worst thing that could happen to you," Goodnature said. "People pay a lot of attention right away but then as time goes on they forget. But you have to live with it. It's something that we think about every day."
Retired Lt. Col. Joe Repya, who came out of retirement to enlist again after the Sept. 11 attacks, said he's proud U.S. troops killed bin Laden.
"I take certain degree of pride in thinking that the last thing Osama bin Laden saw before taking his last breath was U.S. military forces," Repya said Monday.
(MPR reporter Jessica Mador contributed to this report.)