On Sept. 11, 2001, al-Qaida terrorists attacked American soil by flying airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, with yet another hijacked plane taken down by the courageous passengers before it could reach its unknown destination.
Less than a month later, on Oct. 7, 2001, U.S. troops arrived in Afghanistan to begin what has become our nation’s longest war. As we come up on the 17th anniversary of the War on Terror, we would like to commemorate the sacrifices the members of our armed forces have made to ensure terrorist groups are unable to bring such a level of devastation back to our shores again.
According to defense.gov, as of Aug. 17, 2018, there have been 2,216 service members who paid the ultimate price for freedom in Afghanistan since the beginning of hostilities. There have been just a little more than 20,000 who have been wounded in action. That sacrifice of blood and lives from our brothers and sisters in uniform should never be forgotten.
Fort Hood soldiers are still deploying to Afghanistan on a regular basis. In fact, we currently have a few hundred from the 504th Military Intelligence Brigade over there right now. And until we can ensure we will never have to face a threat such as al-Qaida coming back to our shores from Afghanistan, I don’t see those deployments going away any time soon.
We can, however, tell the stories of our Fort Hood area veterans so those who have not served there can know just what sacrifices have been made on their behalf for the past 17 years. Whether it is your own story or one on behalf of battle buddies who didn’t make it home, reach out to us.
The stories need to be told.
David A. BRYANT is an Army retiree and a military journalist for the Killeen Daily Herald. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 254-501-7554.
If you were deployed to Afghanistan and would like to share your story, email your contact information, along with dates you served, to email@example.com. Please put #Afghanistan in the subject line.