US Military Completes Afghanistan Withdrawal

US Military Completes Afghanistan Withdrawal jlieberher Tue, 08/31/2021 - 09:03 Twenty years of combat operations and a Herculean evacuation mission came to an end just before midnight Aug. 30 with the full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. The end of America’s longest war culminated with a massive evacuation mission, with thousands of U.S. troops, including paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division and soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division, deploying to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul. The last American soldier to leave Afghanistan was Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, 82nd Airborne Division commander, who stepped onto a waiting C-17 with a final message to troops that he was proud of them for a “job well done.” Retired Gen. Carter Ham, president and CEO of the Association of the U.S. Army, said, “As America’s military role in Afghanistan concludes, I suspect many of you share my mixed emotions.” “My heart breaks for the Afghans left behind to an uncertain future, especially those who served with, supported and even fought alongside American troops over the past 20 years,” he said. “But I am so proud of all the troops who served in Afghanistan since those early days in October of 2001.” Americans should never forget that the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines did their duty, Ham said. “Our nation called, they answered that call to duty in a far-off land under often harsh conditions, and 2,641 gave their all,” he said. “We owe them and their families a debt we can never repay, but we pledge to never forget.” Ham added, “Our nation is divided today on so many things that won't be easily resolved, but the Association of the U.S. Army hopes we can remain united behind supporting our soldiers and their families, some of whom are still suffering today from grief, wounds, sadness and even anger as the U.S. mission in Afghanistan ends in an unsatisfying way. The bonds of military service and sacrifice have been strong for 246 years, and we need to all be strong today.” Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, boards a C-17 cargo plane at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Alex Burnett)   Image Image Credit U.S. Army/Pfc. Vincent Levelev Lead In AUSA President Talks of ‘Mixed Emotions’ on War’s End Publication Date Tue, 08/31/2021 - 09:04 Tags Headline news Afghanistan Members Only Off

US Military Completes Afghanistan Withdrawal
US Military Completes Afghanistan Withdrawal jlieberher Tue, 08/31/2021 - 09:03

Twenty years of combat operations and a Herculean evacuation mission came to an end just before midnight Aug. 30 with the full withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan.

The end of America’s longest war culminated with a massive evacuation mission, with thousands of U.S. troops, including paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division and soldiers from the 10th Mountain Division, deploying to Hamid Karzai International Airport in Afghanistan’s capital of Kabul. The last American soldier to leave Afghanistan was Maj. Gen. Christopher Donahue, 82nd Airborne Division commander, who stepped onto a waiting C-17 with a final message to troops that he was proud of them for a “job well done.”

Retired Gen. Carter Ham, president and CEO of the Association of the U.S. Army, said, “As America’s military role in Afghanistan concludes, I suspect many of you share my mixed emotions.”

“My heart breaks for the Afghans left behind to an uncertain future, especially those who served with, supported and even fought alongside American troops over the past 20 years,” he said. “But I am so proud of all the troops who served in Afghanistan since those early days in October of 2001.”

Americans should never forget that the soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines did their duty, Ham said. “Our nation called, they answered that call to duty in a far-off land under often harsh conditions, and 2,641 gave their all,” he said. “We owe them and their families a debt we can never repay, but we pledge to never forget.”

Ham added, “Our nation is divided today on so many things that won't be easily resolved, but the Association of the U.S. Army hopes we can remain united behind supporting our soldiers and their families, some of whom are still suffering today from grief, wounds, sadness and even anger as the U.S. mission in Afghanistan ends in an unsatisfying way. The bonds of military service and sacrifice have been strong for 246 years, and we need to all be strong today.”

Soldier
Major General Chris Donahue, commander of the U.S. Army 82nd Airborne Division, XVIII Airborne Corps, boards a C-17 cargo plane at the Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. (U.S. Army photo by Master Sgt. Alex Burnett)

 

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Soldiers boarding airplane
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U.S. Army/Pfc. Vincent Levelev
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AUSA President Talks of ‘Mixed Emotions’ on War’s End
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