The following is the first entry in what will hopefully be a collection of the author’s thoughts and reflections on the 2021 Fall of Afghanistan. If you enjoy it, consider sharing.
I know what you’re feeling. We all feel it.
That helpless nightmare deep in your soul that all of your sacrifices were in vain. The frustration of being told you were building capacity for the Afghan army, only to watch it fold in a matter of moments. The resentment for the elites who were so readily willing to send the best of us to die, as they dodged service and began their ascension to the highest seats of power. The betrayal of our generals, who have become little more than decorated politicians. And the deep enduring sadness, as you struggle to avoid imagining what evil awaits those we left behind.
I’ve spent the last few days reconnecting and listening to stories of men I deeply respect. The frustration is real. The pain is real. It would be understandable to become disaffected and retreat from the American story.
But we must push. There is no choice.
I say this because the alternative triggers the managed decline of the nation we love, and ultimately, the suffering of those we hold dear.
America is wandering alone in the desert. At every turn its people are bombarded by grifters who aim only to entrench their own power. From coast to coast, citizens are giving themselves over to the temptations of tyranny. As fear paralyzes the masses, the illusory promise of safety is rapidly displacing the noble virtue of liberty. Americans are desperately thirsting for bold servant leadership. The warrior class must fill that gap.
So many of our veterans have seared into their character the very traits our elites fatally lack: a clarity of vision for the harsh realities of the world. A humble recognition of their own flaws. A selflessness of spirit that guides their purpose. And an unmatched strength of will to see a problem through to the end. Nothing threatens over-credentialed elites more than a proven class of truly excellent individuals because the existence of such a group dispels the illusion of their competence.
Thus, you must be suppressed. The temptation to hate your country for its failures will be thrust upon you. You’ll be enticed into embracing a weak veteran victim culture. Bitterness and depression will rear its ugly head. The VA will offer you drugs you most likely don’t need. Should you allow it, you’ll become an empty corpse as your spirit is devoured by hopelessness.
Resist. And hang your head high.
When the bullets cracked overhead, you did not fight for abstract notions of freedom or liberty, you fought for love of your fellow man. You faced rockets, mortars, and roadside bombs to bring the brothers to your left and right back. Those who are no longer with us did not die in vain. They sacrificed their lives for one of the noblest reasons known to mortals: so that their brothers might live. And thus, their spirits live on through us. The shameful actions of charlatans and cowards take nothing away from that. Only when we cower in fear and shirk the duty that has now been laid at our feet do we dishonor their memory.
America cannot afford to have another generation of jaded veterans ensnared into a life of nihilistic bitterness. An underclass of state-dependent alcoholics who lost their way. Our calling is higher.
We are in a critical moment. But it is our moment. Every one of us is needed. Get married. Have kids. Raise them right. Engage your community. Find positions where you can lead. Build networks of friends. Run for local office. Fight petty tyrants. Fight incompetence. Fight cowardice. Fight deception. Your neighbors are looking to you for leadership. You just don’t see it yet.
I know what you’re feeling. I feel it too. Take the time you need to rest and refit. And then go and lead boldly.
Never grow weary of doing good.