WHEELING, W.Va. (WTRF) — For many Americans, watching what has unfolded in the past 24 hours in Afghanistan is heart wrenching.
And even still, we’re reminded the Afghan war is not foreign to West Virginians, as one veteran is watching the video of the very ground he fought to defend, now being reclaimed by the Taliban.
You know Ryan Weld as a state senator, but as the news breaks of Kabul being captured, memories came flooding back from 10 years ago. And he tells 7NEWS he has nothing but heartache, anger and one question.
“What was it all for,” asked Sen. Weld.
October 2010 to July of 2011 in Zabul; Weld was an intelligence officer. The last several months of his deployment were spent with high conflict in the spring.
There is a cost to the Afghan war. But Sen. Weld wonders if we will hold confidence that the sacrifices were well worth the result.
“I think about their families. What are their families thinking in the past four or five days? I could still remember on May the 16, 2011. I attended a ramp ceremony for four soldiers who had been killed earlier that day by an IED in Zabul, where we were at. For three of them, it was their last day there. For one of them, it was his first mission.”Sen. Ryan Weld, Veteran and West Virginia Senator (R)
And now present, in these past days, this veteran can’t shake the thought of those we left behind. For example, the girls school in the province Weld fought to defend.
Is that going to be open? Are those girls ever going to have another shot? It was tough in the first place for them… even when we were there. And now I’m sure it’s going to be even more difficult, if not impossible.Sen. Ryan Weld, Veteran and West Virginia Senator (R)
The interpreters, the Afghans who worked with us all those years who are now frantically stuck as the Taliban has taken the capital.
“What’s the future for them,” asked Weld. “Last night I talked to a guy on the phone that I was deployed with that I haven’t talked to in 10 years. What we were talking about is he has still been in contact with the Afghans that we worked with. And, trying to find a way out for them.”