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As Kabul fell, Afghanistan veterans started reaching out to the VA disaster line

Over 800,000 Individuals have served in Afghanistan since October 2001, in response to the Pentagon. And as information and pictures unfold of the autumn of Kabul, many are experiencing a variety of feelings.

The U.S. Division of Veterans Affairs says calls to the Veterans Disaster Line elevated because the Taliban took management of Afghanistan in mid-August.

“I can see how folks would battle with … what was all of it for?” mentioned Steven Cole, who served as an Military public affairs officer in Kabul from 2009 to 2010. 

“I did depart a spouse and two youngsters alone, and people are years I can’t get again,” Cole mentioned.

Steven Cole was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, as a U.S. Army public affairs officer in 2009.

Steven Cole was deployed to Kabul, Afghanistan, as a U.S. Military public affairs officer in 2009. (Fox Information)

Other than the non-public toll, Cole is considering the Afghanistan residents he labored with day by day, and the 1000’s of Individuals who paid the last word sacrifice there.

“You concentrate on their households and the folks that have been left behind, and their pals. So quite a lot of feelings,” Cole mentioned.

A complete of two,352 American service members died in Afghanistan, and greater than 20,000 have been wounded, in response to the Division of Protection.

“Persons are remembering. Making sense of their very own lived expertise,” mentioned Military reserve psychologist Nicole French.

French says it’s regular for veterans to have an emotional response to the information in Afghanistan.


The VA says the Veterans Disaster Hotline acquired 8,569 calls from Aug. 13 to 16. That’s over 500 extra calls than they acquired throughout the identical time final 12 months.

“I believe it is incredible that we’ve seen an elevated name quantity as a result of these people are literally working towards asking for assist,” French mentioned.

French and Cole work for Veterans Bridge Residence, a nonprofit that connects veterans to alternatives in Charlotte, North Carolina. The 2 say if veterans are feeling emotional, the most effective factor to do is attain out and speak to someone.

“I believe grief is totally developing,” French mentioned.


Based on French, only a few veterans make the most of psychological well being providers once they’re in want. The Veterans Disaster Line will be reached at 1-800-273-8255 and press 1.

“Partner, good friend, whether or not they served or not. I believe it’s wholesome to speak issues by with someone that you simply belief,” Cole mentioned, including it’s not good to bottle emotions up.


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