“I just feel bad for the people” Knoxville veterans respond to Taliban takeover of Afghanistan

Local News

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Local soldiers who deployed to Afghanistan are sharing their thoughts on the Taliban takeover there.

Many of us have watched the situation unfold through a television or smartphone screen, but for some veterans, it is the very place they spent years serving.

“I was with a bunch of special operations guys and I was part of the support staff as the intelligence professional,” said Kyle Ward.

Ward, a Knox County Commissioner and Air Force veteran, was a member of the Joint Special Operations Task Force in Afghanistan in 2011 and 2012.

“I got to serve next to very brave Afghani special operations soldiers and interpreters. I heard over the weekend we lost some of the guys that worked with us. And I’m afraid that more Afghanis that helped Americans will end up suffering the same fate, and I don’t think we’ll be able to get out as many as we can that did help us along the way,” Ward said.

That’s where Ward says his sadness stems – for the people he knew there.

“There were Afghani people that helped me survive and come home,” he said.

It’s a similar emotion felt by fellow Afghanistan veteran, Army Colonel Don Amburn.

“Our main responsibility was to find out how we were being perceived, the Afghan government was being perceived, and what could be done to further and better relationships,” Col. Amburn said.

Amburn deployed to the country twice, once in 2002 and then a little over a decade later.

“The enemy that has taken over that country has already shown how brutal it is going to be,” Amburn said.

“I just feel bad for the people. A lot of those people wanted freedom, wanted American democracy, wanted their daughters to go to school, wanted their kids to grow up to be able go to college. That’s not going to happen now. What’s in store for them is still to see, but it doesn’t look good from this point,” said Ward.

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