Thirteen Soldiers Died in Afghanistan, and it Shouldn’t Have Happened

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Military news…

Speaking of Afghanistan: after two decades of war, American service members and Taliban militants have been standing within an arm’s length of one another outside the airport in Kabul.


Thirteen American service members were killed on Thursday in suicide bombings at Kabul’s international airport in Afghanistan. The toll includes 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy corpsman and an Army special operations soldier. They came from Texas, California, Utah, Tennessee, Wyoming and many other places and walks of life, and they died helping strangers in a far-off country.

A horrific suicide bombing on Thursday near the Abbey Gate of the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan killed hundreds of Afghan civilians, 11 U.S. Marines, a Navy corpsman, and an Army special operations soldier. Eighteen American military service members and many more Afghans were wounded in the attack, which took place at a crowded entry gate where U.S. troops were working day and night to rescue Americans and Afghans fleeing the Taliban.

“Terrorists took their lives at the very moment these troops were trying to save the lives of others,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement. “We mourn their loss. We will treat their wounds. And we will support their families in what will most assuredly be devastating grief.”

However, Austin added, “we will not be dissuaded from the task at hand. To do anything less — especially now — would dishonor the purpose and sacrifice these men and women have rendered our country and the people of Afghanistan.”

Marine Corps Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the head of U.S. Central Command, attributed the attack to the Islamic State terrorist group operating in Afghanistan. Described as a “complex attack,” it was initiated by a suicide bombing outside of the Abbey Gate where U.S. troops manned checkpoints as Afghan civilians attempted to flee the country.

“The attack on the Abbey Gate was followed by a number of ISIS gunmen, who opened fire on civilians and military forces,” McKenzie told reporters.

The fallen service members were part of Operation Allies Refuge, the mission to evacuate American citizens and Afghans who assisted the U.S. and its allies during their 20-year war in Afghanistan. Earlier this month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled the country, the Afghan security forces collapsed, and the Taliban quickly took Kabul. Withdrawing U.S. forces and the Taliban then entered into an uneasy truce in Kabul, with Taliban fighters cordoning off the streets leading to the airport as American troops manned checkpoints leading inside.

Prior to Thursday, the last U.S. service members to die in Afghanistan by hostile fire were Sgt. 1st Class Antonio Rodriguez and Sgt. 1st Class Javier Gutierrez, two Army Special Forces soldiers who were killed by Afghan soldiers in a green-on-blue incident in Nangarhar Province on Feb. 8, 2020. For the Marine Corps, Thursday’s attacks represent the first loss of life in Afghanistan in two years. The last occurred on April 8, 2019, when three Marine reservists were killed by a roadside bomb in Bagram.

“These fallen heroes answered the call to go into harm’s way to do the honorable work of helping others,” said. Gen. David H. Berger, the commandant of the Marine Corps. “We are proud of their service and deeply saddened by their loss. As we mourn, we also keep those who are still over there protecting Americans and our Afghan partners at the forefront of our thoughts. Our Marines will continue the mission, carrying on our Corps’ legacy of always standing ready to meet the challenges of every extraordinary task our Nation requires of her Marines. I am continually humbled by the courage and warrior spirit exhibited every day by Marines across the globe. The sacrifices Marines make on behalf of freedom must never go unnoticed or unappreciated. I ask that you keep these Marines and service members, and especially their families, in your thoughts and prayers.”


My view….

I am grieving as if I lost a family member. The oldest soldier was only 25. The youngest 20. Two were women. This shouldn’t have happened. We knew long before the disaster that we needed to get people out. As far back as July.

If we would have started then, we would have been able to get all the afghan people out that wanted to go, and all the Americans as well.

Now thousands of people will be stranded. They will face horrendous times with the Taliban. Many shootings and killings. One women was burned alive because she didn’t fix a meal they way the Taliban wanted her to.

We were way too late to start evacuating people.

Our leadership totally failed.


Book coming out soon…

Another reminder that I have slowed down my sharing excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

You can search the archives for some previous excerpts. My publisher has asked me not to share too much of the book.

You can still catch some I “slip,” in during the coming weeks. All you have to do is go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.”

When you do that all future posts will come directly to your inbox.


Bed check…

How are you doing? Do the days seem dim, and the nights long?


There are over 12, 900 fellow veterans here who have your back.

If the long nights are too much for you, GET HELP!

Here is a toll free number to call 24/7. There are highly qualified counselors there to help you. They will not hang up until they now you are OK.

1-800-273-8255… Texting 838255.



You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above ll…never, ever, give up!


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