INDIANAPOLIS — Thousands of Hoosiers fought in Afghanistan over the last 20 years.
Some of them are reacting to the situation unfolding in the country. The Taliban has taken back control of Afghanistan more than a decade after U.S. and Afghan national forces drove the militant group from power.
“Any veteran who served in Afghanistan can know that their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families was worth it,” said Rep. Jim Banks, who is also an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2014. “I don’t know many veterans at all, though, who don’t support withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.”
But, Banks once again told Fox Business that the White House has shown a terrible “lack of leadership” in executing the withdrawal. The Taliban was able to reclaim control of the country in a matter of weeks after the heaviest of the U.S troops’ presence in Afghanistan left.
Retired Army Staff Sgt. Brian Alvey told WISH-TV that what has played out in the country over the last week has been disheartening as someone who fought there in 2004.
“We should have went,” Alvey said. “They attacked us, and I can list out all the things that we did good but you put it all together and you watch what just happened and it’s really hard to convince yourself that it was all not for not, what was the point, you know?”
President Biden has placed a lot of the blame for the Taliban takeover on the Afghan government and its military for not putting up enough of a fight to maintain their country. Retired Sgt. 1st Class Joshua Workman served two tours in Afghanistan from 2003-2004 and then again from 2010-2011.
“I would like people to not believe what you’re hearing in regard to ‘Afghan soldiers are cowards’ and not willing to fight,” Workman said. “I’ve stood next to them while we’ve been shot at and took mortar attacks, and they’re not afraid. They run toward the fight, too.”
Workman said the situation has frustrated him so much that he’s reached out to his VA psychiatrist just to talk about it. According to iCasualties.org 58 Hoosiers were killed in 20 years of fighting in Afghanistan.