Afghanistan: A Message to Combat Vets From a Medal of Honor Marine
“I am just thankful that I had the chance to stand on the shoulders of giants…”
These are difficult and shameful days for our nation, as the most deadly and hateful scourge of any evil cult on earth has been allowed to rise again.
It is particularly difficult for American veterans of the war against the Taliban in Afghanistan, as well as our Iraq war vets. The visceral scenes as that nation fell are disruptive reminders for those who are living with injuries from that conflict, injuries seen and unseen. Even more so for the families of the 2,448 American military warriors who died in Afghanistan.
It is, likewise, difficult for our veterans of the war with communist Vietnam, who sacrificed much in another conflict we did not finish, which cost 58,281 American lives and, again, countless injuries seen and unseen.
Shame on Joe Biden and his disgraceful lying cadre, who betrayed the men, women, and children of Afghanistan, ripping from them the shield of hope and promise and leaving them for slaughter. Biden has simultaneously betrayed all Americans who served there. On the eve of the 20th observance of the 9/11 Islamist attack on our nation, this dangerously inept American commander-in-chief has re-seeded al-Qa'ida’s terrorist turf — and let the world’s tyrants know they have nothing to fear from him.
I have talked with many Operation Enduring Freedom veterans this week, and these words from OEF Marine, Medal of Honor recipient Kyle Carpenter, rise above the din.
Years ago, a wise old man who had seen a lot of warfare told me that if the greatest of warriors have no heart, they are just mercenaries.
I know Kyle, and I can attest to the fact that he is a humble, distinguished warrior, a young man with heart and faith. As a courageous 21-year-old kid in the heat of combat with the Taliban, he instinctively jumped over an enemy grenade in order to protect a fellow Marine. He did so at mortal risk to his own life and suffered severe injuries as a result.
Kyle has offered a brief but compelling message to his fellow veterans and all Americans.
As I try to make sense of the present while reflecting on the past, it’s difficult to get past the immeasurable sacrifice, the loss of innocent youth. … And for those Patriots and brave warriors, who gave their last full measure of devotion, the loss of life. … Was it worth it? After two decades of war, thousands of medevacs and flag-draped caskets, it is an understandable question. As I search my own thoughts for the answer as the news plays in the background, I see the most clear and heartbreaking answer to that question as I watch a man fall from the sky, unable to hold onto a military plane leaving Afghanistan. Freedom is a powerful, beautiful, and earned privilege, and if we only helped give them that Freedom … for a brief moment in time, they still experienced it. Children were able to go to school … women could show their beautiful faces … girls could become women without being forced into ‘marriage’ with Taliban. Ultimately we gave them hope that there could be a brighter sunrise than the day before. So, was it worth it? As service members and Americans, to help our fellow human beings will always be worth sacrifice. … Afghanistan and our lives are just brief fleeting moments in time and I am just thankful that I had the chance to stand on the shoulders of giants while I was here.“
I encourage you to view his remarks here:
Of his message, Kyle notes: "If you are struggling, please know, you are not alone. Reach out, we’re all with you. Love and Semper Fidelis to my fellow veterans, service members, and the beautiful people of Afghanistan.”
Additionally, there was another brief but important message to fellow combat veterans from MajGen Mastin Robeson (USMC Ret). I encourage you to view his remarks here:
It is with a heart of gratitude and humility that we say thank you to Kyle, Mastin, and all those who have served with honor and dignity, and the families of those who never returned. S/F.
If you are a Veteran in crisis or concerned about a vet, please use the Veterans Crisis Line for confidential support, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
Call: 800-273-8255 and Press 1
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776
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