COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL)- Two Army Veterans spoke with News 3 about their viewpoints on what is going on in Afghanistan.
Back in July, President Joe Biden made the announcement that the military mission in Afghanistan will conclude on Aug. 31, 2021. Troops have begun traveling home from Afghanistan, leaving the Taliban in control again. Retired Major Jeff Struecker and his veteran son, Jacob Struecker said this was a heartbreaking moment.
“We both had a chance, father and son, to serve in the Ranger Regiment. Deployed to Afghanistan and every time someone asks me about what they’re seeing on the nightly news, my perfect response is, man, it’s heartbreaking,” Jeff Struecker said.
Jacob Struecker told News 3 it’s disheartening to see what’s going on.
“I agree, I mean it’s definitely heartbreaking. It’s disappointing to see, knowing the amount Afghani people that are going to be struggling with this regime of the Taliban now. People that were born within the last 20 years and have never known the Taliban rules and now they’re going to go from the freedom that the US paid for with American blood. Now they have to struggle under the Taliban as well, so that’s heartbreaking,” Jacob Struecker said.
Jeff Struecker believes a lot of the soldiers are struggling with the decision to leave or to continue to help those in Afghanistan.
“One of the things every American warrior knows, you get sent somewhere you do what you’re asked to do by your country. Sometimes it feels like there’s really a lot more I wish I could do but that’s not something I’m allowed to do. I feel like it’s probably some Marines over there right now, some warriors who really wish there was a lot more that they could do,” Jeff Struecker said.
Jacob Struecker told News 3 he saw a video of Afghan civilians holding on to a plane and his heart went out to them.
“When I saw those videos of people falling off the planes, I never understood or been in a situation where I felt like this is life or death for me, if I don’t make it onto this plane that’s it. I’m going to be living under terror for the rest of my life, so my heart went out to those people when I first saw those videos. I also thought about the troops that are over there and the job they have to do now. Many of them are trying to save a lot of these Afghan refugees, but they’re trying to balance their own personal safety, the safety of other service members, Americans, they’re trying to evacuate and safely evacuate some of these refugees,” Jacob Struecker said.
Jeff Struecker hopes once all the soldiers are gone things don’t revert to how they were in 2001, but he’s unsure of the future in Afghanistan.
“I hope it doesn’t descend to what Afghanistan was like pre-2001 when the US started the global war on terrorists. I hope that’s not what it’s like but to be honest, I’m not conceived that it won’t be like that. I’m not convinced that won’t be a teenage girl like Malala Yousafzai that gets shot in the head just because she wants to go to school and the Taliban tell her girls don’t go to school, I hope that doesn’t happen,” Jeff Struecker said.
Jeff Struecker said all we can do is pray for the soldiers and the Afghani people.
“You can pray for those warriors that have been in Afghanistan or are currently there because a lot of them are struggling with questions right now. Watching the way this thing is unfolding and asking the question was all of this sacrifice worth it and that’s a strong psychological issue that they’re wrestling around with,” Jeff Struecker said.