Vietnam veteran shares resources for Afghanistan veterans struggling to process Taliban takeover

Published: Aug. 27, 2021 at 6:27 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Watching the Taliban take over Afghanistan has been heartbreaking for veterans like Trent Reedy, who was deployed there with the Iowa Army National Guard in 2004.

”A pure anguish through all of us old soldiers, some of us not so old wondering how could this happen, how could it all be for nothing,” Reedy said.

The images coming out of Afghanistan are bringing back memories for Gene Peterson, a Marine who served in Vietnam.

“A lot of frustrations because why did we spend so much time, so much effort and pay such a high price? And I’m sure that you know the Afghani veterans are feeling very much the same today,” Peterson said.

Thursday’s attack at the Kabul airport likely only intensified those feelings.

”Casualties make the pain even worse,” Peterson said.

He wants veterans to know there is help out there through organizations like the VFW, American Legion, and the Veterans Administration. It’s something Reedy told me he, and those he served with, have discussed.

”We will probably need to get into the VA to you know talk to professionals to help us out, to help us deal with the emotional challenges from this,” Reedy said. “And that’s difficult for me to admit to you, but I’m not going to be ashamed.”

We are told it sometimes takes talking to the very people you served with, or who served before you.

“As a fellow veteran regardless of when you served I encourage you to reach out and just touch base with those that know your pain,” Peterson said.

”We have to look out for one another just like we did in Afghanistan,” Reedy said.

If you’re a veteran seeking help with mental health or other issues, there are options:

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