An American soldier from Fort Lee, New Jersey, was killed fighting in eastern Afghanistan, officials said Tuesday.
Sgt. 1st Class Mihail Golin, 34, died and four soldiers were wounded Monday while they were on patrol in Nangarhar province, officials said.
Sgt. Golin grew up in Latvia before immigrating to the US just before he turned 21, dad David Golin said. He wanted to serve his new country immediately.
“It (Sgt. Golin’s service) made me proud of him,” a tearful Golin told The Post at his home in Brooklyn. “He grew up a very brave man – never afraid of nothing.”
Sgt. Golin and his dad spoke nearly every Sunday and their last chat, on Saturday, ended with the slain soldier telling his old man: “I love you.”
“He called me and said, `I wish you a good new year, I’m going to be a few days at work (so) I cannot call you. I love you,” said the heartbroken dad, his voice barely above a whisper.
“He called me every Sunday. We had a very good relationship.”
David Golin, 55, said he and Sgt. Golin’s mom got divorced when he was just 4 and the dad moved to the US.
The dad said he always kept in contact with his son even when they were an ocean apart.
“We were very close, and he always can ask me something for advise,” David Golin said.
Sgt. Golin is survived by his ex-wife Katerina and their 6-year old daughter Vlada – who both live in Colorado, the dad said.
US Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) lauded Golin’s bravery and dedication.
“Mihail Golin served our nation with courage and distinction, and his death is a loss that will be felt across New Jersey,” according to a statement from Booker.
“Let us honor Sgt. Golin’s extraordinary courage by reflecting on his commitment to the nation he loved, and by recognizing the profound debt of gratitude we owe to him and to his family for their sacrifice. I extend my deepest condolences to Sgt. Golin’s family and friends during this very difficult time, and my thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers injured in this tragic incident.”
Additional reporting by David K. Li