Editorial: The Long War Ends

As America’s longest war comes to a close, veterans reflect on their time in Afghanistan and what the future holds. Meanwhile, some American allies are still seeking a way out. August18, 2021_Kyle Wade,Editor in Chief

American evacuation efforts continue at Hamid Karzai International Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. According to the Associated Press, America has evacuated 1,100 and Australia has evacuated 26, both countries plan to increase those numbers today.

Within the country, there is an expedited race by all American allies, mainly interpreters, to make it to the airport in Kabul or to escape the borders without detection of the inbound Taliban regime.

“Jack”, was an interpreter who worked with retired Marine Corporal Jake Jane’s platoon on his deployment to Nowzad in the Helmand Province, 2008; he is currently in Afghanistan trying to find a way out.

For “Jack’s” family and his own safety, UNTD WE STND will conceal his identity until word of his safe arrival stateside has been received.

On Sunday, Jack, his wife and his four sons left their home in Khost, Afghanistan in the cover of night in hopes of reaching Kabul, in hopes of finding what he calls “my Marines”.

According to Jack the situation in Khost was “not good right now (Sunday), it’s very bad. Yesterday, Talibans killed 15 people on the road. Talibans and Afghan’s government didn’t fight each other.”

Google maps journey from Jack’s home in Khost to Kabul

The family did arrive in Kabul on Monday, after a 144 mile trip, only to find the embassy evacuated and would have to divert to the airport.

As of Wednesday, Jack is in the process of his third application for an SIV (Special Immigrant Visa), a last ditch effort to escape a Taliban regime that targets allies of America.

“Those who help with US Marines and US Army, they try to kill that kind of people and their families,” Jack said.

Janes speaks about Jack’s service with his platoon in Nowzad: “Jack was like the John Wick of interpreters. He would be out on patrol tracking Taliban beside us. He’d pick up a cigarette butt and tell us that they (Taliban) went that way.”

Jake Janes, retired US Marine Combat Engineer, served two combat tours. His second was in Nowzad, Afghanistan, 2008 with Third Battalion, Eight Marines

Janes and other Marines have sent emails in support of Jack’s SIV. UNTD WE STND will give updates upon receipt.

For Janes, one of his biggest issues with the withdrawal is the people being left behind.

“My only problem is that there are good people there, like my interpreter, probably got promised some bullshit from the U.S. like ‘hey, you do x,y and z and we’ll get you over here to live this lavish lifestyle in the United States’ , then just leave ‘em high and dry, it bugs me.” Janes said, “he fuckin’ did his part to make sure guys like you and I came the fuck back and now he could be getting his head cut off on whatever stupid Taliban T.V. channel is out there.”

Besides U.S. allies being stranded in hostile territory, Janes also sees positivity in America’s role over the past near two-decades.

“I believe that the constant rotations to Afghanistan and Iraq kept the military honed. At least I noticed it in the Marine Corps, I was getting trained by fuckin’ door-kickers from Fallujah that just breathed this rabbid dog of psychopath, and I think you need that. You can’t just go from CONUS (Continental United States) to fightin’ wars, you need killers training killers, iron sharpens iron.”

Justin Eggen, left Marine Corps active duty after his second combat deployment to Afghanistan, he is now a published author and national award winning poet attending Florida Atlantic University.

Justin Eggen, combat veteran and award winning author shares perspective on Afghanistan The current events in Afghanistan have inspired him to write his latest book of poetry, Ten Years Ago, Ten Years Later over the past two weeks and he says, “it’s very much my answer to what’s going on right now.”

Eggen says the evacuation doesn’t negate the military growth that America has seen over the near two-decades of war.

“It’s a hard thing to analyze and try to make sense of, to think what the fuck this was all for? At the end of the day, it’s a few things, I think, it’s one: we’re perpetuating the military industrial complex because we have to. We have to evolve our weapons, we gotta evolve our training and evolve how we fight battles. For one, if we wouldn’t have went to Iraq, we would have never gotten MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles), we would’ve never got Buffalos, right? If we’d have never gone to Afghanistan we wouldn’t have the blast armor for your nuts, the advanc