Widow of fallen Puyallup soldier speaks out: I’m ‘very grateful that he called’

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PUYALLUP, Wash. -- The wife of Staff Sergeant Bryan Black of Puyallup is speaking out for the first time after the ambush attack that killed her husband and three other U.S. soldiers last month in Niger.

"He always knew his odds before he went in," Michelle Black said. "He probably knew he was not coming home, but I think he knew that if he took a risk some of his friends might."

Michelle Black says her husband gave her the best years of her life. The best gifts of her life; eleven and nine-year-old sons.

The boys now realize that their father is not coming home.

Michelle Black says she is aware of the circumstance surrounding her husband's death and controversy surrounding President Donald Trump's conversation with a gold star wife.

"Very grateful that he called and he spoke to the kids," Michelle Black said. "I think that the excitement from that made it a little better, even if it was just for a minute. He (Trump) was very gracious and I appreciate anyone who calls, because like I said, that takes quite a bit of bravery to call into that kind of situation."

Michelle Black says she eventually wants clarity and wants to know the details surrounding her husband's death, but for now, those answers won't bring her husband and his fellow soldiers back.

She's focusing on her boys and a new life without their father

Who is  Staff Sergeant Bryan Black

The 35-year-old Green Beret medic was incredibly strong-willed and competitive.

"He became irritated in the 4th grade when his brother won a trophy at a chess tournament and he didn't," his obituary said. "He turned his frustration into action, spending an entire summer studying and learning chess. Bryan then dominated scholastic chess in Washington state, tied for 2nd in the nation in the 6th grade, and competed well at the adult level."

He later tackled and mastered other fields, including carpentry, stock trading, martial arts, roofing and medicine.

Black enlisted in 2009 and served as a special forces medical sergeant.

"During his previous deployment to Niger he learned the local dialect Hausa because he wanted to be able to communicate directly with the people," Black's obituary said. "He also spoke French and Arabic. Bryan was often in high demand within his team and with locals due to these efforts."

Black is survived by his wife, Michelle Richmond Black, and sons Ezekiel and Isaac.

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