Last Letters Home: Coram Air National Guard staff sergeant's impact, love still felt

Six years ago, Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Louis Bonacasa, of Coram, was killed in a suicide bomb attack while serving in Afghanistan.

News 12 Staff

May 27, 2021, 2:54 AM

Updated 1,052 days ago

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Six years ago, Air National Guard Staff Sgt. Louis Bonacasa, of Coram, was killed in a suicide bomb attack while serving in Afghanistan. The hero airman left his family with precious sentiments of love in letters he wrote from the battlefield.
Louis' wife Deborah Bonacasa describes her husband as kind, loving and someone you could always rely on.
Deborah says 9/11 made Louis want to serve his country. But when he was away, he made sure to keep in contact.
"This was an email, a letter that he sent to me awhile back. Like a few months after Lily was born when he got deployed again," says Deborah Bonacasa.
"Hey Babe, I miss you so much. The little things are what's always taken for granted. I miss laughing so hard that we cry. I miss your big smile because it lets me know you're happy and that's what makes me happy. I miss being around my strong woman who now is possibly at her strongest taking care of our little lady by herself while I'm away. I can't wait to come back in your arms and hold what is going to make the love in our lives even greater. When it comes to our family baby, the sky's the limit and we can get through anything and do anything together. Love you so much and always remember we are one of a kind."
Deborah says Louis' proudest accomplishment was being a dad to Lily, and that having to leave her was incredibly hard, but what he had to do.
On Dec. 21, 2015, Louis and five other airmen were killed while on patrol. Deborah says a motorcycle that passed had a bomb inside that wasn't noticed.
Over five years later, Deborah says her daughter is her biggest source of strength.
"It was really Lily where I got my strength from because I don't know honestly if Lily wasn't here, I don't know where I would be. But she is what keeps me going," says Deborah.
Deborah says she'll always continue telling Lily about her dad, the memories they had and how proud he is of her. She says Lily reminds her of Louis.
"It took me awhile to realize that grief does have a positive impact, because you strive to preserve your loved ones' legacy to honor them in a special way," says Deborah. "And we try to do that by creating a nonprofit to help others. That's how we honor him and that's how we get through."


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