The tragedy in Afghanistan brings pain to all of us, but its even more painful for South Florida veterans who fought there. Seeing service members killed Thursday is triggering lots of emotions.
Lots of veterans weren’t happy with what they had been seeing this month from Afghanistan, but the suicide attack sent that over the top.
Veterans who have been there keep asking how this could have happen and if their sacrifice overseas amounts to anything.
"We’re angry. We’re pissed off. We don’t like what has happened and we feel like things have gotten way out of control and there’s a lot of confusion here because we are not understanding whose calling the shots here," Broward Army Reservist LTC Dr. Delvena Thomas said.
"Whose advising our President of the United States?”
LTC Thomas did tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Thomas is a highly trained psychiatrist and a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Pembroke Pines. She’s actually overseas right now, but was up much of the night with members of her VFW chapter in Broward calling her with their frustrations.
“I know that a lot of them are angry. They have a lot of emotional turmoil,” Thomas said.
News of the Marines and other service members losing their lives outside the gate at the airport in Kabul is hard for anyone to process, but especially those who have been there.
“To have at least 13 and counting of our U.S. service members killed yesterday, it’s intense. It makes you angry,” Thomas said.
We spoke with numerous veterans about what has unfolded, but they didn’t want to express their dismay on television.
Thomas also worries about the Afghans who helped their unit still in the country.
“They’re translators, interpreters. They become like family and its one team and one mission and so with everything that has happened over the last couple of weeks in Afghanistan, there’s a lot of worry about the folks who are still trying to get out of Afghanistan," Thomas said. "These people who have dedicated their time, who were loyal to the United States.”
The big question being asked by veterans now is tactically how could anyone think it was an acceptable idea to have U.S. servicemen and women outside a secure perimeter searching civilians when intelligence indicated an attack could come.