Veterans Express Anger, Sadness Over Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan

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Billy Vaughn of Florida is hesitant to say whether the war in Afghanistan was worth it or not, believing it’s not for him to pass judgment.

All the Gold Star father knows for certain is that his son, Aaron, died in that far-away conflict 10 years ago almost to the day, at the tender age of 30.

Each year, the family struggles with their loss.

“It’s always a difficult day,” Vaughn told The Epoch Times. “He was about as humble a boy as there ever could be.

“At the same time, he was a fierce protector and a fierce defender against injustice.”

Aaron was a proud member of Navy SEAL Team Six, who believed in the sacred trinity of flag, family, and faith.

In the end, “he gave up his life for that flag,” his father said.

Vaughn lost his son when his U.S. Army helicopter exploded over the Tangi Valley in Afghanistan on Aug. 6, 2011, killing all 30 aboard. It was the largest loss-of-life incident in the Afghanistan war.

Vaughn said that if his son were alive today, he’d be “sickened” by the sight of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan after thousands of U.S. service members died defending the country against tyranny.

“I’ve never seen such a tragedy unfold in my lifetime,” Vaughn said. “It’s really inexplicable to describe in my mind how badly the Biden administration has handled [the crisis]. There is no reason for us to flee like dogs with our tails between our legs.”

At best, Vaughn sees it as a “replay on steroids” of the failed Middle East policy of the Obama–Biden administration.

“He [Biden] is full of insults for everybody else,” Vaughn said. “You just can’t hardly believe that people are that stupid. It makes you wonder if it wasn’t done on purpose.

“We lost a boy over there. What I will say is this: These men and women who fought and died did what they did because they loved this country and they wanted to help the people of Afghanistan. If my son were alive today, he’d do it all over again,” he added.

At VFW Post 1709 in Flagstaff, Arizona, former U.S. Marine Cpl. Gabriel Winse said he served two tours in Iraq, in 2005 and 2009, and lost friends and fellow soldiers in Afghanistan.

He questioned the leadership that led to the humiliating takeover of the country by the Taliban.

By Allan Stein

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