PEB Forum Veteran
I wanted to offer just a brief comment on the withdrawal from Afghanistan. This is an issue that is now even more important to me as my son is currently deployed in Kabul. (He has been there for several months with his deployed unit; he is able to text and while he is tired, he is safe and is doing well). The US military is leaving Afghanistan after more than 2 decades of conflict. This comes after the rapid collapse of the Afghan Army and government and for many people, especially those who served there or who lost friends or members of their unit there, this is a difficult time.
I am posting these links and messages. I echo the sentiments. Everyone should be proud of those who volunteered to serve. Nothing can take away from that. Still, it is okay to feel conflicted or to have regrets about loss. So, please look out for each other, touch base with anyone you think might be having a tough time, and look out for yourself, too. We owe it to ourselves, each other, and our families.
From the Chief of Staff of the Army (A Message from the Army Chief of Staff ):
Soldiers, Civilians, Family members and Soldiers for Life:
Over the past two decades, you have answered the call to serve our great Nation when needed. The sacrifices you’ve made, have and will be a lasting legacy of honor and commitment for all to remember.
As we all reflect on the events of this past week in Afghanistan, I want you to know how much I appreciate your service and your sacrifice and I could not be more proud of what you have accomplished. We have Soldiers presently supporting combatant commanders around the world and I know that you will continue to serve with honor and valor when called upon.
The attacks on September 11, 2001, reminded us of the true strength of our Nation and our military. You are a reflection of what makes us the best Army in the world and I ask that you remain committed as we work to get through this tough time.
In the next few days and weeks, I’d ask that you check in on your teammates as well as our Soldiers for Life, who may be struggling with the unfolding events. We will continue to move forward and serve our Nation with honor and dignity.
James C. McConville
General, United States Army
From the Secretary of the VA ( VA Secretary Denis McDonough’s statement on Afghanistan to Veterans, their families, survivors, and caregivers | VAntage Point):
To America’s Veterans, their families, survivors, and caregivers:
I know it is painful to see the images from Kabul and elsewhere in Afghanistan, especially for the hundreds of thousands of Veterans who have served there since that fateful day in September 2001.
When our country was attacked, you and your loved ones made the heroic choice to run towards the fight. That courageous sacrifice matters and has made us safer, no matter what happens today or any other day.
It’s entirely natural to feel a range of emotions about the latest developments in Afghanistan—and if you are feeling depressed, angry, heartbroken, or anything else, we at VA are here for you. Whether you want to speak to another Veteran, talk to a therapist, call our crisis line at 1-800-273-8255 (press 1) or text 838255, visit one of our Vet centers, or access any of VA’s mental health services online at www.MentalHealth.va.gov, we are standing by and ready to help.
Thank you for stepping up to serve in the time when our country needed it most. We are all forever in your debt.
( Feel free to reach out and to post how you are doing. Please do not respond with posts about politics, criticism of the leadership, or such things. There are plenty of places on the internet to discuss those things. This is not one of those places).