Pledge To Honor Veterans Who Served In Afghanistan
5,535 signatures toward our 30,000 Goal
Sponsor: The Veterans Site
It's time to help help heal the injuries inflicted on those who left part of themselves in Afghanistan. Take action!
United States (US) service members who served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq faced long and often multiple deployments and a constant risk of injury and death1. In addition to exposure to many traumatic events, service members experienced repeated disruption of connections with family members and friends2.
Further, these veterans now face unique health risks, including traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, infectious disease, and mental health issues such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)3.
The final United States soldiers were pulled out of Afghanistan in August 2021, ending America's longest war. Tens of thousands U.S. allies — Afghans who fought alongside or supported American troops or civilian programs — were left behind4.
The troops involved in the evacuation were witness to heartbreaking horrors that should never have occurred. Veterans of the 20-year war in Afghanistan are still wrestling with mixed emotions5.
"To add moral insult to moral injury, we abandoned tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of our allies who assisted us over the course of 20 years," said Cole Lyle, who joined the Marine Corps in 2008 and deployed to the country in 20116. "And we lost 13 service members in the chaotic evacuation largely as a result of the conditions on the ground..."
There are still over 100,000 Afghans facing risks in their own country due to their ties to the U.S or its military presence7.
It's now up to us to help heal the physical, mental and moral injuries inflicted on those who left part of themselves in Afghanistan.
To those veterans who think their service in Afghanistan was meaningless, "It's not for nothing," Lyle reassures. "At the very least, the experiences that you had, and the relationships that you build and maintain, the sacrifices you made, helped build who you are today and molded the character and the person you are today — which is someone that has the capacity to continue serving."
The Department of Defense has recorded more than 2,460 total American casualties over the 20-year war in Afghanistan8. Another 66,000 Afghan national military and police and 47,245 Afghan civilians were killed in the war, and more than 52,893 opposition forces were believed to have been killed9.
Help us honor the sacrifices of those who served in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sign the pledge and make a difference!
- Jennifer Ahern, Miranda Worthen, Jackson Masters, Sheri A. Lippman, Emily J. Ozer, and Rudolf Moos, PLoS One (1 July 2015), "The Challenges of Afghanistan and Iraq Veterans' Transition from Military to Civilian Life and Approaches to Reconnection."
- Karen H Seal, Daniel Bertenthal, Christian R Miner, Saunak Sen, Charles Marmar, JAMA Internal Medicine (12 March 2007) ,"Bringing the war back home: mental health disorders among 103,788 US veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan seen at Department of Veterans Affairs facilities."
- We honor Veterans, National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization (2022), "Afghanistan and Iraq (OEF & OIF)."
- President Joe Biden, The White House (31 August 2021), "Remarks by President Biden on the End of the War in Afghanistan."
- Haley Britzky, Task & Purpose (29 August 2022), "As the world moves on, veterans of the Afghanistan withdrawal struggle to join them."
- Jordan Williams, The Hill (30 August 2022), "Veterans battle 'moral injury' a year after US troops left Afghanistan."
- Laura Kelly And Rebecca Beitsch, The Hill (1 September 2021), "Advocates 'demoralized' as 100K allies remain stranded in Afghanistan."
- U.S. Department of Defense (19 September 2022), "Casualty Status."
- Watson Institute International & Public Affairs, Brown University (September 2021), "Human Cost Of Post-9/11 Wars: Direct War Deaths In Major War Zones, Afghanistan & Pakistan (Oct. 2001 — Aug. 2021); Iraq (March 2003 — Aug. 2021); Syria (Sept. 2014 — May 2021); Yemen (Oct. 2002-Aug. 2021) And Other Post-9/11 War Zones."
As a supporter of our brave service members, I pledge to honor the sacrifices of those who have served in the longest war in U.S. history.
I acknowledge that United States (US) service members who served in the wars in Afghanistan faced long and often multiple deployments and a constant risk of injury and death.
Through their brave service, these individuals were exposed to many traumatic events, as well as repeated disruption of connections with family members and friends. Further, these veterans now face unique health risks, including traumatic brain or spinal cord injury, infectious disease, and mental health issues such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
I acknowledge the fact that the evacuation of Afghanistan left service members witness to heartbreaking horrors, and that many are are still wrestling with mixed emotions.
It's now up to us to help heal the moral, mental and physical injuries inflicted on those who left part of themselves in Afghanistan.
I pledge my support to those who served in Afghanistan, and will advocate for causes that honor this group of brave Americans.