The husband of Republican presidential hopeful Nikki Haley will spend the next year in Africa with the South Carolina National Guard.
Michael Haley will return in the spring of 2024 – meaning he will miss a significant portion of the former South Carolina governor’s campaign.
“Our family, like every military family, is ready to make personal sacrifices when our loved one answers the call,” Haley said in a statement to ABC News. “Their commitment to protecting our freedom is a reminder of how blessed we are to live in America.”
Mr. Haley joined the South Carolina National Guard in 2006 and deployed to Helmand Province in Afghanistan in 2013 for a year-long mission.
She and her two children were photographed saying goodbye to then-Captain Haley alongside several hundred families at the National Guard site near Columbia in January of 2013.
According to News 18, Haley was selected for the deployment because of his “background as a businessman,” which the Guard believed “would be helpful to the unit as it works with Afghan farmers to sell their crops and improve the ways they bring them to market.”
During his second overseas deployment, Major Haley will support the United States Africa Command.
“He has not played a public role in her campaigning so far, though he did attend her launch event in South Carolina,” noted NBC News.
Major Karla N. Evans of the National Guard told AP News that Major Haley’s unit is “replacing a unit from a different state as part of a regular rotation of forces.”
A formal deployment ceremony is expected in the coming weeks.
The Haleys met during her first weekend at Clemson University and have been married for 26 years. According to Politico, she convinced him to change his name from Bill to Michael.
The former United Nations ambassador launched her bid for the White House in February.
She has harshly criticized President Joe Biden for his withdrawal of American forces from Afghanistan, which resulted in the death of 13 members of the U.S. military and left 18 more wounded. She described the chaotic event as an “unmitigated disaster” and “devastating to the Afghan people.”
“The Taliban is among the most barbaric forces in the world,” she wrote in a column published by Fox News in August of 2021. “Its perverted version of radical Islam is once again being forced upon innocent people, with summary execution for those who oppose it. Millions of lives will now be savaged or lost.”
It is heartbreaking for the thousands of American servicemen and women, my husband Michael among them, who risked their lives in Afghanistan to keep the Taliban from power. I thank God Michael came home safely. Many did not. Their sacrifices mattered, but they appear to matter less now.
These epic moral dimensions of President Biden’s failure must never be minimized. But there are also massive strategic dimensions for America’s national security that should draw our attention going forward. The cost of national humiliation is not cheap.
As of June 1, Haley is polling in fourth place. She trails former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former Vice President Mike Pence – who has not formally entered the race.