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GOP lawmakers deliver Afghanistan vets to State of the Union, say ‘solutions’ nonetheless wanted on 2021 withdrawal

Home Republicans Reps. Ashley Hinson and Younger Kim are bringing two Afghanistan veterans to President Biden’s State of the Union handle Tuesday, and say the Biden administration nonetheless wants to offer solutions on the lethal withdrawal, from Afghanistan in 2021.

Hinson’s visitor is retired U.S. Military Sergeant Trent Dirks and his Ok-9 companion Tracer. Dirks served in Afghanistan and has suffered from Submit-Traumatic Stress Dysfunction (PTSD). The previous sergeant is targeted on serving to different veterans obtain the psychological well being care they want and first met Hinson by way of a corporation referred to as “Retrieving Freedom” that pairs veterans with Ok-9s to assist them overcome PTSD.

“There are packages that may offer you that help and you may come out of the darkness and reside an important life,” mentioned Hinson, R-Iowa. “And we need to specific that gratitude to our veterans.”


Dirks mentioned his canine Tracer has helped him reside his life with out succumbing to panic assaults.

“My journey has been two reverse sides of the spectrum. I went from hardly leaving my home or not with the ability to exit into public with out having a panic assault, not to mention have a dialog with individuals or look anyone within the eye, to coming to Capitol Hill and talking publicly about what I have been by way of,” Dirks instructed Fox Information Digital. “So it is simply been an unbelievable expertise. And Tracer and Retrieving Freedom has helped me get right here.”

Hinson mentioned that whereas the 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan was a “catastrophe,” she appreciates Biden for signing her veteran psychological well being invoice into regulation.

“I do imagine that the withdrawal from Afghanistan was a catastrophe. We’ve got 13 new Gold Star households due to this administration’s insurance policies and the way they selected to withdraw. So I do suppose we’d like some solutions there for us to have the ability to transfer ahead as a rustic and guarantee that that does not occur once more,” mentioned Hinson. “That mentioned, I need to specific my gratitude to the Biden administration for transferring ahead with the invoice that we launched final 12 months.”


Kim’s visitor, former U.S. Marine Captain Andrew Darlington, deployed twice to Afghanistan and labored carefully with the congresswoman’s workplace to assist rescue U.S. allies following the chaotic withdrawal from the nation.

He obtained the Purple Coronary heart and different accolades for his service, and labored to evacuate U.S. translator and ally Sayed Obaidullah Amin. Amin and his spouse tragically died on the Abbey Gate throughout the Kabul airport assault on August 26, 2021 whereas making an attempt to get his household safely out of Afghanistan. 

“I am actually, actually excited to have Andrew Darlington, who’s a captain who served throughout the Afghanistan battle. He has labored very carefully with my workplace to assist evacuate the Afghan refugees and even the People that we served with,” mentioned Kim. And so I actually wished to thank him. It is a small approach of creating positive that our nation, not simply me and my crew, however our nation say thanks to the veterans who have been heroes, particularly throughout the Afghanistan withdrawal when our authorities did not deliver everyone out.”

Darlington instructed Fox Information Digital that it is one of many “honors of my life” to attend the State of the Union, though his story is “very painful” to inform. 


“It is actually a tragic actuality of Biden’s withdrawal of Afghanistan. So it is extremely painful as a result of, as Congresswoman Kim has mentioned time and time once more, we failed our ethical obligation to those women and men,” mentioned the previous captain. “And it isn’t that anybody is advocating for some form of open door coverage the place everybody is available in. However particularly Afghan interpreters who’ve fought with of us in her district and my Marines who we vouch for and say they should be right here. They earn the American dream. It has been very painful to inform that story transferring ahead in the previous few years.”

Kim, who sits on the Home Overseas Affairs Committee and was simply appointed head of the subcommittee on the Indo-Pacific, has continued to press the Biden administration for solutions on the Afghanistan withdrawal. Her invoice, the Rescue Endangered SIVs and Residents and Urgently Evacuate to Security (RESCUES) Act, would create strict oversight of the State Division’s evacuation operations in Afghanistan.

“So transferring ahead, I merely hope the American individuals can get solutions to know what occurs that we by no means do it once more,” mentioned Darlington.

As for what message he would have for different veterans, Dirks instructed Fox Information Digital “get assist.”

“Do not be afraid to ask for assist. And there is assist on the market,” he mentioned. “Do not surrender. Simply don’t surrender.”

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