GONZALES: If I could go back and talk to that 20 year old kid who landed in Afghanistan, this is what I would tell him, I would say thank you. Thank you for everything that you’re doing. Because the next 20 years, you’re going to keep America safe. And everyone that served in Afghanistan, we did our part, America is that beacon of hope.
WALTZ: I am in a very unhealthy mix of betrayal, grief, and rage right now. And those feelings are understandable. But I want them to hear me loud and clear. Veterans, Gold Star families, victims of 9/11, their sacrifices were not in vain. A whole generation of Americans have grown up, not worried about planes flying into buildings, not worried about suicide bombers on school buses, they’ve grown up in safety, and that sacrifice was worth it. But if you’re struggling, if you’re struggling with all of this, please call somebody. There are hotlines out there, use them, you’re not alone.
MAST: There are those coming home under flag draped caskets. And there are those coming home with serious and grave injuries. The one thing that can never be taken away from any of them is the service that they gave, the service that they gave to those that stood shoulder to shoulder with them, their fellow Marines, those that were holding the wire, the interpreters and other SIV’s that they were fighting to get out, the Americans that they were fighting to get out. They gave everything that they could because of those that they believed in, and the commitment they had to their people to their left and right. That’s why we do what we do in combat. And that will never fade away.
JACKSON: Their sacrifice was not in vain. It wasn’t, okay? It kept this country safe for 20 years. And it’s because we’ve had brave people that have been willing to give their life and limb over there in Afghanistan. Thank you to all the brave men and women that served over there. And, you know, and I want to reiterate that, you know, their service, and their sacrifice was not in vain. But I also want to let them know, I’m just as disgusted as they are about the way we’re leaving this in the way we’re getting out of there. It’s absolutely horrific and embarrassing.
MAST: I could probably list by name, about 75 reasons why Afghanistan was personal to me. I wear the names of a number of them on my wrist, those are all very, very personal reasons about why what goes on in Afghanistan matters to me personally.
ELLZEY: The message to the Gold Star families, those who have lost loved ones, those who have been wounded, and their families. We did our jobs. We did our jobs for 20 years. The only thing that you can say is be proud of the job that you did. This is not political. This is personal. And it’s about Americans. It’s personal for those of us who have served there. And it’s personal for everybody who knows somebody who has to.
WALTZ: I wear this for a staff sergeant Matt Pucino, one of the Green Berets that I didn’t bring home. I was his commander, he was my responsibility. Matt took point on every single mission that we went out on. The Taliban went old school on their tactics. They went to trip wires on their IEDs. And rather than ride in an armored vehicle, Matt went out front on a motorcycle so that he could be close to the ground. And he could see the trip wires. I asked him about it one day, I said, Matt, you’re pushing your luck, brother, you know, every single mission, you’re doing this. He said, You know what? If I miss one, I wanted to get just me, not my five brothers in the vehicle behind me. That’s the kind of people and that’s the kind of mentality of our green berets and our special operators and our veterans. So I wear this every day. I put it on before I step into the Capitol, and I tell myself to be worthy, right? If for everything we do, and every American, that’s my challenge to them, is be worthy of the sacrifice that allows us to breathe free air every day and be worthy of the men and women that are out there right now. Keeping us all safe and free.
100% same to youOn a day like today, we are all brothers. Whatever branch of the military you were in, we all volunteered to defend this country. We all talk shit to the other branches but we are all patriots and we all had the same goal in mind. So thank you for you service brother!
7 years ago today I arrived home from my last deployment before retiring. Didn’t even realize it until the wife mentioned it too me as it showed up on here timeline on FB.
Doesn't seem like it was that long ago
Got home and left in December for a month going too Germany. Then retired the following may.