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Missouri soldiers, family look back on leaving Afghanistan – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2021-07-29 19:04:26 –

Kansas City, Missouri — Almost 20 years after the United States began the war in Afghanistan, President Joe Biden said the last US and NATO troops would be gone by the 20th anniversary of the attack on September 11th this year.

In recent weeks, as the soldiers left, the Taliban soon occupied more territory.The UN report The death toll of civilians has skyrocketed..

Seven years ago, KSHB 41 News sent crew members, including Lindsey Scheibley and Garrett Harke, to Kandahar Airfield in Afghanistan to track Missouri Defense Force soldiers as part of a documentary.

In 2014, the 276th Engineering Company was dispatched to dismantle what the military had built in more than a decade of war.

Also in 2014, government officials said US and NATO troops would officially end combat missions and continue to support and train.

“We are about to end the longest war in the United States,” Biden said in a statement about the withdrawal of troops in July.

“The United States did what we were trying to do in Afghanistan, caught the terrorists who attacked us in 9/11, and delivered justice to Osama bin Laden,” he said.

More than 2,400 US military personnel have died in the war.

Meet in 2014 The wife of a fallen U.S. Army ranger..

“At the age of 26, I’m about to bury my husband. Like that moment, I lost not only him, but the future,” Colleen Katzenberger told Scheive seven years ago.

KSHB 41 News is back and visits her at her home in Northland, where she and her son Everett live. They sat in his bed and flipped through the photo album.

Dale Meshing / KSHB41 News

Colleen and Everett Katzenberger remember their husband and father, Staff Sgt. Jeremy Katzenberger. He was killed in an Afghan duty in 2011.

“He put you down on the slide and you shook,” she said, pointing to a picture of the toddler Everett with her father’s staff sergeant. Jeremy Katzenberger.

He was killed in Afghanistan in 2011, when Everett was seven months old. Several monuments of his life and service are laid around their homes.

“It’s great to be able to talk about him,” she said.

She talks about him often — publicly, now through an organization called the Folds of Honor — and also to Everett.

“Learning to live with joy and sadness is definitely a journey I have made in the last decade,” she said. “Sadness can win on some days, but most days are joy. As you know, one day it is anger.”

She said that being unable to change what happened could trigger anger.

“When Everett feels sad, I feel very helpless, so I need to check my anger. I think my first reaction to that is the anger that can’t protect my child from this story. “Colleen said.

Colleen said the 9/11 attack was the reason Jeremy was enlisted.

“I clearly remember when 9/11 happened, and I’m now teaching middle school and seniors in high school, and they weren’t even born,” she said.

Another person KSHB 41 News met in Afghanistan was around the time of the 9/11 attack.

“When that happened, I was a senior and junior high school student,” said Sergeant Missouri. Cesar Martinez. “I wanted to do something for my country.”

When I first met him in 2014 After that-Staff Sergeant Martinez was the second deployment To Afghanistan, part of the mission of experienced soldiers and combat experts was to train other soldiers for combat.

The training was used when the forward operating base FOB Walton was attacked during deployment.

“The tremors are back and the adrenaline is back,” he said during a deployment in Afghanistan in 2014.

“I remember how good the soldiers were,” he told us seven years later, back in Missouri.

In 2014, he thought that civilians were ready for life and would probably have a chance to work with animals.

“I wanted to go ahead and hang my boots and uniform,” he said then.

However, given the opportunity to move forward, he decided to stay in the army and is now the first sergeant of the Missouri Wehrmacht.

He cannot comment on the policy, but told us about his experience working with the people of Afghanistan, especially during his first development.

“Everyone we talked to reminded me just like someone at home,” he said. “Farmers who just wanted to work and work. Many of them were teachers and nurses who just wanted to get back to work.”

Veteran Keith Riggins has since left the army to pursue his dream job. The trip did not allow him to remain part of the Missouri National Guard, he said. Instead, he is currently a topside and underwater welding instructor and lives in Seattle. He admits that he misses the army.

“Every day. Yeah, of course I miss it,” Riggins told Shyve.

Seven years ago, a former sergeant. Riggins was also making a second deployment to Afghanistan. His first work was spent manipulating husky and searching for IEDs to protect fellow soldiers. Once upon a time, IED found him. On another mission, he said his device scanning the IED was broken and could not be repaired. Two soldiers died.

“I’m still relived it. There’s a night I dream of,” he said in 2014, adding that he was suffering from mental health and was thinking of committing suicide at some point. “It was very close. The amount of stress I felt, it felt like I had to do, but my dad, my wife and children saved my life.”

Looking back seven years later, he said he had a hard time when he returned from Kandahar in 2014.

“I packed it in a bottle, so every time I returned to the second tour, I think everything hit me at once, and my anxiety and depression got worse,” he said.

He sought help, including the Department of Veterans Affairs, and said he was now calm for five months.

“I’ve been to the funerals of soldiers who committed suicide more than soldiers who died abroad, so not only do they realize they’re experiencing something, but they also help, support, and be right. Turning in the direction is a big deal, to get help, “he said.

New research shows Four times more than US service members And veterans have Died of suicide Than killed in battle in the war after 9/11.

“It doesn’t weaken you — talk to someone. It makes you stronger and better,” Riggins said.

In 2014, Riggins was not convinced that the war would end.

“I feel like five to ten years from now, they will want us to come back,” he said then.

“In 2014, some people claimed to be” another year, “so we kept fighting. “We continued to suffer similar casualties in 2015,” Biden said a few weeks ago. “Another year’s fighting in Afghanistan is not the solution.”

For those who sacrifice, decisions bring complex emotions.

“If it makes sense, it doesn’t always feel like a win,” Colleen said. “I think there is something absolutely valuable.”

“I think it’s great that we hand it over to them, but I think the Taliban will still take over everything we’ve worked hard to achieve there,” Riggins said.

There is one thing that is certain for Colleen.

“I wish Jeremy was with me every day? Absolutely. But am I so grateful to the men and women who prevented another major attack and kept the war away from us? Yeah. And That gratitude is deeply rooted, “she said.

Contacted and provided foreign war veterans headquartered in Kansas City Links to their mental health resources..

They also said VA Veterans Crisis Line It’s one of the best resources for endangered veterans.

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Former KSHB41 news reporter Garret Haake contributed to the 2014 report.

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