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WASHINGTON, (Sputnik), Barrington M. Salmon – US veteran Tom Porter has said he has been closely monitoring war and related activities in Afghanistan since returning from deployment and has become an official of Iraq’s 425,000 veterans and Afghanistan of America (IAVA).

Porter told Sputnik he had just learned of the departure of the last C-17 fighter jet from Kabul airport after more than two weeks of hasty evacuations following the staggering collapse of the Afghan government and the rapid takeover of the country by Taliban forces, culminating in the capture of Kabul on August 15.

“It’s kind of a big time,” said Porter, executive vice president of government affairs for the IAVA and commander of the US Navy reserve with 22 years of reserve and active service. “I don’t feel happy or sad; it’s just a big, weighty moment. For the first time in 20 years, we don’t have a presence there. My biggest concern is that we shouldn’t let anyone out. side. I’ve always said we have to get our allies out. “

Pentagon officials told a press conference today that the United States has airlifted more than 122,000 people. And US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said in a nationwide address tonight that “less than 200 and probably over 100 Americans are still in Afghanistan and want to leave.”

© REUTERS / US MARINES

U.S. Army soldiers from the 82nd Airborne Division check evacuees during an evacuation at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 25, 2021.

Porter lamented the deaths suffered during the final phase of the withdrawal and praised the non-governmental efforts by the organizations to evacuate as many people as possible.

“They were days away from leaving. It’s so tragic,” Porter said of the 15 Marines killed in suicide attacks. “The president said we would try to get our people out of there, but there have been unofficial efforts, incredible work to get our allies out.”

Lawrence “Larry” Sewer, a native of the US Virgin Islands who enlisted in the US military at age 19 and retired as a sergeant, told Sputnik that the severity of the withdrawal Afghanistan must not distract attention from other fronts, such as the devastation wreaked by Hurricane Ida on the American continent. The Category 4 hurricane devastated many areas of Louisiana and Mississippi with high winds and flash flooding that destroyed homes and businesses, leaving 1.1 million people without power.

“Everyone is focused on Afghanistan, but there is a lot of urgency here on the continent,” Sewer said. “But Situations 1 and 2 unfold. This is an assessment of Biden’s priorities in this matter. We should be concerned about what’s going on here. Louisiana is under siege. Our humanity and integrity demand that we Take care and help those whose lives have been turned upside down by the storm. This is the real war right now. And two more hurricanes are lurking there. “

Frank J. Phillips, a retired U.S. Army major who served for 21 years, said he had voluntarily separated from the news. While he did not follow all the ins and outs of the 20-year war in Afghanistan, the news of the departure of the last US warplanes and military left him satisfied.

“For me as a soldier, even though our company kills and dies, I’m happy to come out,” said Phillips, who was with the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea. “I’m happy for some reason. It’s a mix of politics and military. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes. The level of planning is intense, but soldiers, we’re direct. We come in and take land. People are secondary. No soldier ever asks for war. We do what we have to do because that’s what we got involved in. Each of us would like to have a 20 year career without a fight .

The last American forces left Afghanistan in the early hours of August 31, 2021, after 7,268 war in the country. The cost of America’s longest conflict: 2,448 US servicemen and 3,846 US military contractors killed – including 13 Marines killed last week in suicide bombings near the airport – and a price tag of $ 2.4 trillion.

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