NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The United States withdrawal from Afghanistan is causing concerns around the world, and it really hit home for veterans who served in Afghanistan. WGNO’s Kenny Lopez spoke to a local veteran at the VFW about his thoughts on the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
“You finished a job and you felt successful and then you see it just kind of crumble,” Chris Cox said.
Lots of mixed emotions for Chris Cox the VFW Commander of Post 8973 in New Orleans. He served in Afghanistan as a Marine for 6 months, part of Operation Kanjar in 2009.
“So Marines would try to establish security for the people who lived in villages. The people who just had no hope, the people that know that any sense of security they may have is short-lived,” he said.
Cox feels that he and his fellow Marines are going through a grieving process right now that the decision was made to pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan.
“It is sometimes painful to see our best efforts and highest hopes didn’t have the impact that we wanted,” Cox said.
Still, he’s remembering their efforts with pride, but it is tough.
“Does it feel like what we did was for nothing? When a doctor performs a surgery or tries to improve someone’s situation and then they get sick and die, does that mean their efforts didn’t mean anything?” he said.
Cox keeps replaying moments when he crossed paths with the people who lived in Afghanistan, and his heart hurts for them.
“The fact that we can’t go and do something now should not be a burden. We did our best when we could. The good families that are suffering right now, that are trying to survive. I want them to keep safe and have hope,” he said.
He says he feels powerless now but is just trying to remember…
“When we had the opportunity to do something good, we did. I don’t believe our efforts, our best efforts are wasted,” Cox said.
If you are a Veteran and would like to talk to someone about what you’re going through and feeling right now, you can call the Military Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255, Option 1, or text: 838255 or call the Psychological Health Resource Center at 1-866-966-1020.