To Hell and Back









Pic Courtesy of USA Today

Afghanistan! The heartbreak of all that is unfolding there is especially unyielding with the deaths of those 13 brave soldiers. Sons and daughters that believed in the mission and obeyed their orders while evacuating fellow Americans and others. They were AMBUSHED while engaged in a humanitarian endeavor and gave the ULTIMATE sacrifice. Our sympathies are strong and passionate for the families left behind. The hopes and dreams those young people had will never be realized. How does a family deal with that?

Now, the additional sting of this tragedy comes in the wake of leaving many terrified Americans and Afghan associates behind. What lies ahead for them? On top of all that, the list of military equipment left behind is just overwhelming and frightening and shocking. I am a patriot and I love this country, but I, like most Americans am dumbfounded by the moves our country has made over the last weeks. The military was woefully unprepared to exit at the costs of many lives. Did our leaders really get it that wrong or is there something else going on? Is this really our message to the world?

Who are the Taliban and what do they want? The Taliban emerged in the 1990’s after the Soviets left Afghanistan. Their promise was to restore peace and security and enforce their own austere Sharia law. By 1998, the Taliban controlled 90% of the country. At first the Afghan people were pleased to have some order restored, but then the Taliban introduced Sharia Law including public executions of convicted murderers and adulterers, and amputations for those guilty of theft. They banned TV, music, cinema, and girls over ten going to school.

Then, September 11, 2001 happened and our world forever changed. Almost 3,000 killed and 6,000 injured. The attacks that day remain the deadliest terrorist attack in world history. In October of 2001, a U.S. led military coalition launched attacks on Afghanistan, and by the first week of December the Taliban regime had collapsed.

The U.S. and many other countries spent twenty years there. Now we wonder for what? How many plots were foiled? How many lives were saved? How many lives were lost? How many lives were forever changed from the impacts of war? These questions will haunt us, and we want answers that we will probably never get. Our soldiers and the rest of the world need to see that as well! Our veterans have nothing to be ashamed of, they followed their orders, through HELL and back.

Look, most all Americans gave up something. My son came back disabled, but at least he came back. I am hopeful yet that some sense will emerge from these recent events led by powers at the helm. I must believe, for my own sanity, that they haven’t played all their cards yet and really can’t show or reveal their hand. I guess we need to be patient and still hold on to a smidgen of blind faith.
The comfort is that God is in control, ultimately.

The other positive side is understanding that our efforts were not in vain. We spent twenty years showing a people what freedom tastes like. Those seeds have been scattered and must have taken root – you see the Afghan people protests. These people need a beacon of hope to rise from the dust to have a better life. Freedom is part of our human nature and must find a way. This will reveal itself in time.
Please, when you see a Veteran, thank them for their stellar service in protecting your country. Remember that no outside terror attacks were launched on American soil for two decades now, thanks to our military men and women!

God bless our Soldiers, our Nation, and those Americans and friends left behind!

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