There was a mission and purpose that each one had that fought and served in Afghanistan. They were asked by our Nation to serve and that is what they did, to the best of their ability. Some of our military gave all and others came back broken but one thing was certain I believe each gave what our Country asked and I could not be prouder that they served.

We gave that country a taste of freedom and for 20 years they had an opportunity to have a nation that would have enabled the woman and girls to be free and a government that was less ruthless and a freedom that would have been spectacular. Obviously, as a nation and a people they did not have the passion or drive to make that happen. It was not that we did not try, but I think that the fact that they did not want it bad enough to fight for themselves, speaks for itself.

Our Troops did what we asked and each one can hold their heads up high because the battles that were fought and the blood shed were done at the bequest of our nation and they did what any warrior would do and that was follow orders and concentrate on the mission, at hand and that is what they did, and did it well.

We provided Afghanistan all the tools including training, equipment and money that was needed for them to succeed and it was them that gave up the fight. It was us that pulled the plug and said, “enough is enough,” and we will for years discuss the fact if we did the right thing in how it was done. These discussions are not a reflection of our military but a reflection of the will of the American public, the Administration, Congress and everything else but NOT our military. They did what was asked and they should be commended for the fight and service they gave.

We gave our blood, sweet and tears for 20 years and the Afghan’s have been in conflict for nearly 42 years of instability so I am thinking that it might be time for the people of Afghanistan to stand up and reject Sharia Law, and the warlords, if they wish. We had a mission to accomplish after 9/11 and that should have been the only thing that we should have concentrated on. But we did not and we brought in our military to fight a war that had no concrete mission and no exit strategy. The 100’s of battles of our military were all righteous and our men/women fought as we would like and then some, but the war was controlled by the different administrations in Washington. D.C.

My conclusion is that everyone of our military did the right thing and we should be proud of each one and, as an organization that has a memorial dedicated to Sgt Josh Brennan, a troop that gave his life for the mission we sent him on in Afghanistan. We are proud that he was willing to fight for our nation. He died for us. He fought for us. He and the many that sign on the dotted line are willing to serve and we should hold each and every one in a light that few might understand but certainly should respect and honor. We need to separate the war from the warrior.

I have known from my time in Vietnam: that war, no matter how unpopular or popular it might be, has nothing to do with the importance of the military man or woman. Many civilians have a problem separating the two and taking their anger or frustration out on the military and it truly is misplaced. The voting booth and the communications with our elected officials is where your fight should be. We should honor every man or woman that has and are serving our Nation. We would not be a Nation if it was not for our warriors. What kind of Nation is up to you and your neighbors and how you vote, who you vote for and how you hold their feet to the fire? It is your responsibility to be involved and to take the time to understand the issues. Make sure you express your opinion and not sit back and let other people do it because you don’t have the time. Up to you and me.

You would think that after 2,500 years, when Sun Tzu wrote the quote that I end with today, we would have learned from his teachings?

“There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare.” — Sun Tzu (The Art of War).

Ronald Verini is a local veterans advocate who writes a weekly column for The Argus Observer. He can be contacted at (541) 889-1978, or 180 W. Idaho Ave., Ontario, OR 97914. The views and opinions expressed in this column do not necessarily represent those of The Argus Observer.

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