General

Why Absorb been We There?

My gallop as a United States Navy soldier started at Citadel Leonard Wood, Missouri, on Could well 23rd, 2001. Two weeks after I graduated classic training the towers fell. Rapidly forward to a two-tier occupation, first as a Fight Engineer then as an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technician. I truly maintain four tours of responsibility below my belt and 12 years of energetic-responsibility service. I used to be medically retired in June 2013.

At some level of all that point, I knew nothing of the peacetime Navy. As an different, deployments had change into the new typical. Friends, colleagues, and mentors who held special locations in my lifestyles would be wounded, and a few of them would die.

After a whereas, September 11th snappy stopped being a reason to fight. It used to get replaced with the phrase many would quiz of, “Why are we right here?” At the time, I’d consistently shrugged, assured we’d realized our classes referring to the tip game.


U.S. M-ATVs in Afghanistan.

U.S. M-ATVs in Afghanistan.

After I received wounded, I used to be on the commence air, looking in. The level of hobby at the time used to be the drawdown of our presence in Iraq—with us leaving within the attend of a vacuum. That vacuum used to be ISIS, and for years, that used to be all any individual might per chance per chance additionally focus on about.

President Trump allowed our militia to notify…

For my piece, I used to be distraught. In spite of the total lot the time I spent there, all that effort, all these lives lost, I presumed ISIS would change correct into a world threat, and what’s worse, I helped build of abode off it. And for a whereas, I believed there used to be no hope for Iraq—no hope except a man with yellow hair and a relentless orange tan stepped in.

President Trump allowed our militia to notify, destroying ISIS with lighting flow and efficiency. For the first time in years, I felt gay with my build of abode as a gentle, for the time I’d spent in service to my nation. But you might per chance per chance consistently depend upon the left to shatter any day.

President Biden’s (aloof disputed preserve) came as a shock. The larger shock came a pair of weeks ago, as he entirely ruined all that onerous work—twenty years of blood, sweat, tears, and death, twenty years fought by thousands of folks exact treasure me.


U.S. Troops at FOB Baylough, Afghanistan.

U.S. Troops at FOB Baylough, Afghanistan.

By Could well, when the troops were scheduled to pass away, Afghanistan used to be entirely overrun by the Taliban. On August 15th, they received to Kabul. In Kabul, Individuals were left to fend for themselves, service canines left to endure, and our Afghan allies abandoned, going thru torture and execution. Other international locations stepped as a lot as earn their folks out, but President Biden did nothing. The final week of the withdrawal used to be essentially the most devastating: 13 heavenly folks were killed by a automobile IED. Indirectly, the final C-17 flew out. President Biden known because it a rousing success. I wished to vomit.

Even as I write, it’s onerous for me to fathom that there are aloof Individuals trapped over there.

Even as I write, it’s onerous for me to fathom that there are aloof Individuals trapped over there. My total occupation I used to be suggested we hobble away no one within the attend of—that Individuals hobble away no one within the attend of. But currently I label that used to be all a farce. Joe Biden, his administration, and the Joint Chiefs might per chance per chance to boot maintain given every soldier, sailor, marine, and airman a punch within the face because that’s exactly what the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan felt treasure.

September 11th from now except the day I die will frequently be me remembering my chums who died, and asking, Why were we there?”

This article is piece of a Human Events Thought Special Sequence released September 11th, 2021: “9/11: A Twenty Year Retrospective.”


Written By:

SSG (Ret.) Stephen Phillips

SSG (Ret.) Stephen Phillips is a retired Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technician. He’s a graduate of the University of Alabama and at repeat residing within the Birmingham build.

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