The past few weeks have been very painful, stressful, and triggered both good and bad memories for many veterans and previous deployments to Afghanistan, the Middle East and as far back as the Vietnam War.
A lot of people, and rightfully so, want to politicize what is occurring right now in Afghanistan. However, there are many veterans who find it hard to see this withdrawal occur and remember the lives lost trying to keep America safe. To see the Taliban, who military members fought for 20 years, take over a country in mere days is so heartbreaking. It makes everyone who has ever served, especially during this time period, so demoralized that we are beside ourselves as to why we were even there?
Now, there are frantic phone calls coming from Afghanis that worked alongside fellow Americans. It's not just interpreters, it's also mechanics, cooks, and fellow foreign military service members. The fall of Afghanistan and suddenly these frantic calls coming from people in dire need of wanting to survive, what may be the inevitable death at the hands of the Taliban, have taken their toll on many veterans. The veterans themselves are now making these frantic calls to help bring back their comrades in arms and it's making life crazy for many families.
This is where families simply need to know it's okay to not fully understand, just understand.
Many veterans have a new mission, a calling so to speak, to accomplish tasks that may seem insurmountable. It may cost money, sleepless nights, restlessness, and even angry episodes never seen before. Families may be on the edge for a bit, but please know that it will get better, it will get better!
Your veteran is simply needing to work through their own "military operation" that only they will know when it's truly "mission accomplished."
Please don't try to understand, just understand.
Paul Perez, veteran