DES MOINES, Iowa — Chris Parsons works as the morning editor at WHO 13 News. He is also a U.S. Army veteran and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2013. Parsons says watching America leave that country is heartbreaking.
“I know I’m not the only veteran to think that it is painful to see so much of what we put in fall to pieces so quickly,” Parsons said.
In the years that American troops fought in Afghanistan, Parsons says U.S. forces provided security for the people and trained the Afghan security forces. However, since America has decided to leave the country, Parsons wonders if the U.S. efforts were enough.
“We tried to give them security, we tried to put them in a position where they could eventually take over this for themselves. We did what we could on our side. I don’t know that it was enough,” said Parsons.
The veteran says that he became friends with translators and people in the villages while he was in Afghanistan. Now Parsons is worried about the women and children who have never lived under Taliban rule.
“I’m worried for the kids. They never knew this stuff before, never experienced [it]. They’ve had a lot of freedoms,” said Parsons. “In the case of a lot of women over there, you’re already seeing many of them being told that they’re not going to be able to behave a certain way.”
According to the Pentagon, 2,448 American troops have died during the war in Afghanistan.