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Spires: An unavoidable discussion
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Spires: An unavoidable discussion

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Over the past week I have witnessed as I am sure most of you have the ongoing Afghanistan fiasco. It has been very disturbing to me to watch as the days have gone from bad to worse.

I am especially saddened about the 13 American soldiers who lost their lives. It is a sickening thought to think that they were killed in such a way.

In all of my years I have never witnessed such a mess as we now have in Afghanistan. That in itself is a scary event and now we find ourselves as a country facing some rough times ahead, I’m afraid.

I grew up as a teenager in the Vietnam era. I remember watching the nightly news and seeing the death toll of American soldiers announced on television.

It was sad too, especially when we had a next-door neighbor in Vietnam at the time. He would come home, although some families I knew then sons did not. I lost a cousin over there as well.

Exiting Vietnam was not one of our finer days. You would think that we would have learned from that experience to do a better job of leaving a country where our young men and women were fighting.

That is not the case this time, however.

We have been so wrapped up as a nation in destroying the past that we seem to have lost the very past we needed to understand, especially under these circumstances.

Over the past 20 years I have attended the Wounded Warrior Hunt in Gadsden County. I have met a lot of exceptional people at those hunts. People who were willing to go to war for their country.

They paid a heavy price for us with lost limbs and physical scars. Their experiences are unimaginable to say the least. Wounded Warrior Hunts are a way for them to experience something they enjoy.

At each one of those hunts, I left with a lump in my throat thinking about what they had experienced and why they were Wounded Warriors. It was always a very sobering moment for me.

I have watched as Americans and our Allies have tried to exit Afghanistan; I cannot help but feel that same lump in my throat as I think about all of the sacrifices that have been made over the past 20 year.

Now, to watch it come to such an end, especially when it all could have been handled better is disheartening.

By the time you read this, there will be other things happening over there that I am sure will be as disturbing.

We need to pray for our country now, probably more than any time in my lifetime. That seems to be the only real solution for us rank-and-file folks.

Byron Spires is a retired newspaper editor. He has written dozens of short stories and serials in the Havana Herald. He recently published “The Curious Life of Marci Bell” in a series of three books. You can email him at byronspires51@gmail.com.

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