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Greene County man killed in Afghanistan

HUNTER -- Families distraught in the Capital Region this week after one attack overseas kills two men with local ties.  A Lieutenant Colonel with the army and a non-military law enforcement officer are among the dead.

They always expected Joseph Morabito to come home to the Haines Falls hamlet of Hunter, but got the news this weekend that he would not be.

Morabito was showing Afghans how to be police officers when Morabito's wife said one of the people he was there to help turned on him.

"He had to do something, he had to make a difference, even if it was just a slight difference," said Joseph's wife Andrea.  "It's who he was.  It's who he was made to be."

Joseph Morabito had been overseas before but as a retired officer, explained to his wife that he felt called to serve again.

"We had a restaurant for a few years, and when 9/11 hit, it his him hard," Andrea said.

Morabito went to Iraq and Afghanistan as a contractor, passing the torch so others could be law enforcement leaders in their own countries.

"He said he couldn't stay here anymore he needed to do something to be a part of this and help people out because too many people's lives were lost," Andrea said.

Trying to build relationships, Morabito and others were shot and killed -- the shooter dressed like an Afghan army man.

"It was definitely a sneak attack," she said.  "He obviously did not know.  That's what hurts the most because this is what he did.  He trained people to look for this."

Trained to spot insurgents -- what Andrea says her husband did.  Joseph leaves behind three kids -- two daughters, twenty-four and nineteen.  They are shocked and saddened, but also proud.

"I'm just glad that he did what he loved to do," said daughter Amanda.  "I don't think he'd want it any other way."

As the flags fly in front of Joseph's home, his spirit moves his family.

"He always said if I felt the wind passing by me when there was nothing there then it was him," said Andrea.  "I do believe in that."

His daughters say their father could be over-protective, but was always loving.

"If you ask anybody they'll tell you how highly I talked of him," said Toniann.  "He truly made us who we are."

"I'll always talk about him for the rest of my life," Amanda said.
 
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