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A family reunion from Afghanistan via satellite

Rita Cosby gets a father and son together while visiting Bagram Air Base
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On Wednesday's 'Live and Direct,' MSNBC's Rita Cosby reported from Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan, where she is on a goodwill tour with several wrestling stars from the WWE, visiting U.S. troops.

After receiving a letter last week from Major Chuck Kilbride to his son, Capt. Jack Kilbride, serving with Joint Task Force 76 in Afghanistan, Cosby was able to reunite a father and son, through the magic of satellite technology.

To read an excerpt of the reunion conversation, continue to the text below. To watch the reunion video, click on the "Launch" button to the right.

RITA COSBY: I want to share with you now a very special letter, something I got when I was in New York last week.  It is from Major Chuck Kilbride to Captain Jack Kilbride, with Joint Task Force 76 right here in Bagram. 

... It says, "I don't have to tell you how proud your mother and I are of your service to our country.  You and your brothers and sisters have served with honor."

Joining me now is Captain Jack Kilbride.  I want to pass this letter on to you from your dad that he gave me last week. 

CAPTAIN JACK KILBRIDE, 173RD AIRBORNE, U.S. ARMY:  Thank you very much, Rita.  I appreciate it. 

COSBY:  How does it feel -- you're in a military family -- to hear those words of support from your dad? 

J. KILBRIDE:  Well, you know, as a kid, you always grow up and you say, you know, I always wanted to be -- I want to be just like my old man.  And, you know, in some respects, I am.  And it can be a good thing, it can be a bad thing, too, Dad.  And I think you know that. 

But, bottom line being, I'm very happy.  I'm very proud that my father is proud of me. 

COSBY:  Let me read another quote, if I could.  It says, "You guys have weathered the storm before.  Keep your eye on the ball.  Take care of your troops, signed Major Dad."  "P.S."-this is my favorite part-he says, "Be nice to Rita.  She is the best."  So that's a direct order from the major.

J. KILBRIDE:  Then I guess I'll have to comply.

COSBY:  You know, we have a surprise for you this morning.  This morning here in Bagram ... we've got your dad hooked up.  Major Kilbride, can you hear us? 

MAJOR CHUCK KILBRIDE, FATHER OF JACK KILBRIDE:  Yes, I can hear you fine.  I can hear you, Rita. 

COSBY:  Hey.  You know, we've got a big surprise.  I know neither one of you knew you about this surprise.  You've got a very happy son right here.  What do you want to say to your dad who's listening? 

J. KILBRIDE:  Well, you know, I thought the voice-over-Internet was pretty cool, but this is awesome. 

COSBY:  What do you want to say to your dad about the letter? 

J. KILBRIDE:  Hey, Dad, I appreciate the letter, thanks.  And tell mom I said hi.  Tell her I love her, and Merry Christmas to the rest of them.  And I'll give you guys a call later. 

COSBY:  Major, anything you want to say to your son here? ...

C. KILBRIDE:  Well, I want to mention -- I want to wish you a very Merry Christmas, Jack.  But could you do me one big favor and give Rita Cosby a big hug and a kiss from me and for your mother? 

COSBY:  You're going to have to do it. 

C. KILBRIDE:  Go ahead, Jack. 

COSBY:  Thank you so much.  Oh, thank you. 

J. KILBRIDE:  Thank you. 

COSBY:  Captain Kilbride, really an honor.  And it's so great to have you and your dad.  And your dad's a good guy.  I had the chance to meet him a couple of times.  And, most of all, he's very proud of you and the service you've done.  Anything, finally, you want to say to him and to America watching tonight? 

J. KILBRIDE:  Well, I just want to say that, you know, guys like me, we're a dime a dozen.  There's a lot of heroes out there doing what needs to be done for this country, and I'm very proud of them.  And I have the greatest respect and admiration for them, because they're taking it to the enemy and they're helping to rebuild a nation and help this government provide to protect and serve their people. 

And it's awesome to be part of it, but guys like me are just a small part.  And together, we make this work.  So thank you, and appreciate you coming.  I appreciate the letter.

And to my wife, I love you, and I'll call you later, too. 

COSBY:  What do you want to say to your dad?  By the way, you guys, his father, 27 years in the Marine Corps.  Final thoughts to your dad?

J. KILBRIDE:  I'm glad I'm doing my part.  And I know Tom -- he's my brother -- he's also doing his part.  I was able to run into him just a couple of weeks ago here at Bagram.  So I guess Bagram's the place to be if you want family reunions. 

Watch 'Rita Cosby Live & Direct' each night at 9 p.m. ET on MSNBC.