Episode 3: Current Events In Afghanistan Through the Eyes of Veterans
In this episode of The Veteran’s Voice, host Amanda Mineer is joined by guest Jeremiah. A navy veteran who was boots on the ground in Iraq. Jerimiah spent time working with the military before officially enlisting. He spent 55 months in Afghanistan, and after his military career, he worked as a defense contractor either offering support directly to the squads there or even providing training to the Afghan army.
During this time, he witnessed and analyzed the recent events that had transpired in Afghanistan through the eyes of the veterans and their families, and reflected on what the veterans can take away from their shared experiences during their deployments and time in Afghanistan. Many veterans have been heavily affected by this news, with it not only leaving impacts on veterans that spent time in Afghanistan but also the many others that were deployed in other parts of the world. The information is forcing a new and primarily unwanted perspective of the things that these veterans went through during their deployments.
Jeremiah touches on how he felt working with the Afghan army and how he believes they responded to the responsibilities given to many of them. Some focused on country pride, family pride, or even aspirations into politics; but among the group Jeremiah worked with, he mentions the sense that many of the soldiers never grasped the larger picture. He references times when Afghan soldiers would leave the army to work for better pay elsewhere, highlighting underlying issues in the army itself and touches on a number of the other problems that he encountered.
Jeremiah also discusses the imposition of American values on a country that perhaps doesn’t share those same values and describes his experience navigating the profound Afghan culture while there and how widely it differs from what we know and understand in the United States. He explains how the soldiers were met with judgment and disdain by others they had never met simply due to their headdress, and how he came to understand the feuds that they had with each other were tribal and distinctive to their culture.
With all of these stories, topics and more, this podcast helps us understand the feelings we have towards the news. We come to terms with the impact these deployments had on our veterans and the presence that they have left in Afghanistan for years to come.