Chairman Takano Statement on Completed U.S. Military Withdrawal from Afghanistan
Jenni Geurink (202-819-4684)
WASHINGTON, D.C —Today, House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Mark Takano (D-Calif.) made the following statement after the United States completed its military withdrawal from Afghanistan. Mental health resources are available for veterans who need them here.
“After nearly 20 years of service and sacrifice in Afghanistan, our U.S. forces have officially withdrawn. I know that old wounds have reopened for many veterans, their families, caregivers, and survivors, as the world watched the horrific images coming out of Afghanistan. But our servicemembers accomplished something miraculous—they safely evacuated more than 120,000 Americans, Afghan allies, and citizens of our allies in the largest airlift in U.S. history. Our servicemembers, past and present, performed and served with honor and never lost sight of their duty. For all who served or supported us in Afghanistan— we thank you. To the Afghan refugees who will now call the United States their home, we welcome you.
“Ending our military presence in Afghanistan was the best way to protect the lives of our troops and allow innocent civilians to leave in the weeks and months ahead—I commend President Biden for taking this critical step. There will be time to sort out what could have gone better, but today, we must remain focused on assisting Americans and Afghan allies who have been evacuated and those who are still seeking refuge. We remain forever grateful to the veterans and servicemembers who have and continue to serve so selflessly and the families who make that service possible. Our thoughts are especially with our Gold Star families and those who still bear the wounds of war.
“This is a difficult time for many who served and those who supported their loved ones in Afghanistan. Please join me in reaching out to the veterans in your lives, and if you need help, please know that it is okay to not be okay right now. No matter what, this service was necessary, courageous, and will be eternally valued.”
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, contact the Veterans Crisis Line to receive free, confidential support and crisis intervention available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Call 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1, text to 838255 or chat online at http://VeteransCrisisLine.net/Chat.
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